The Congress on Tuesday said variations in the size, design and features in the same series of the new Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 notes “jeopardize the credibility of the currencies” and confuse citizens about their authenticity.
The party also demanded a reply from Prime Minister Narendra Modi as to why there were variations in features and size in the same series of notes and also added there should be an inquiry into this only after the government’s reply.
Indicating “criminal negligence and criminal culpability” on the part of the government, senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal said Modi’s objectives behind demonetisation were yet to be achieved.
Sibal also said he raised the issue in Parliament and the party will keep raising it for the next few days unless the Prime Minister gives a reply.
“We have been trying to figure out the real motive behind the sudden and secret move of the government to demonetise the Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes,” Sibal told the media here.
“The objectives mentioned by the Prime Minister have clearly not been achieved,” he asserted.
Sibal said: “Different sizes of currency notes jeopardize the credibility of India’s currency and has huge global ramifications. Citizens will be confused about their authenticity.”
He mentioned that the standard size of the new currency notes as indicated on the official website of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) was 66 mm X 150 mm for Rs 500 and 66 mm X 156 mm for Rs 2,000 notes.
“Where were notes of significantly different sizes printed? Nowhere in the world are currency notes of whatever denomination of different sizes,” Sibal maintained.
Sibal added: “It is important to note that these notes are not counterfeit since they are all printed under the aegis of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the ministry of finance, incorporating most of the security features published on the official website of RBI.”
Sibal asked where were these series of currency notes printed. “It is presumed that the dye for printing can only be one size. Where were the dyes of different sizes prepared for the purpose of printing the currency notes, whether within or outside the country.”
Asked about the origin of the notes, Sibal said: “I don’t know. I can’t answer that question. There are two possible interpretations, either it is criminal negligence or there is criminal culpability because you cannot deal with the currency of a nation in this fashion.”
“This is something that RBI and government must tell us,” he added.
On being asked if it raises questions about the RBI’s credibility and if a parallel fake currency was circulating in the country, Sibal said: “The presentation I have given raises pertinent questions. Who took the decision on the printing of the notes, what is real motive behind it? I can’t say, We can only assume.”
“It raises question on the government. RBI has no interest. The government gives permission for printing. There should be clarification from them,” he added.
He also raised questions about how it happenned, under whose aegis did it happen and who gave the permission for this.
“Who is responsible for this? Who supported RBI in doing this? These questions will be raised,” said Sibal adding that “unless PM Modi answers these questions, we will go to the public and show the notes to the people”.