Indian currency printed by Chinese firm? AAP takes on Modi government
New Delhi : The AAP government on Monday sought a clarification from the Centre following a report published in a Chinese daily claiming that a company there has been given the licence to print Indian currency.
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national spokesperson Raghav Chadha termed the revelation as a "big threat to India's national security" and "financial sovereignty" and asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi why this information was not available in the public domain.
"What were the reasons behind approaching a foreign firm instead of assigning someone domestically? Was India approached by China, and did we succumb to pressure from them in their bid to increase their global influence?" Chadha asked.
The South China Morning Post, a Chinese financial news publication, has reported that a Chinese state-owned company, China Banknote Printing and Minting Corporation, has been contracted to print large quantities of international currencies including that of India.
The report states that in 2013, Beijing launched the belt and road plan which involved 60 countries from Asia, Europe and Africa to stimulate economic growth.
The President of the China Banknote Printing and Minting Corporation, Liu Guisheng, was quoted as saying that his company has since then "successfully won contracts for currency production projects in a number of countries including Thailand, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, India, Brazil and Poland."
Referring to the report, Chadha said that an undisclosed source was quoted as saying that some governments have asked Beijing "not to publicise the deal because they are worried such information could compromise national security or trigger unnecessary debates at home."
He opined that in the light of recent hostilities between the two nations, this could lead to some "serious strategic disadvantages for India".
The report claims that despite domestic currency demand being at its lowest, China Banknote Printing and Minting Corporation has been "functioning at full capacity to deliver on international contracts".
It also states that while there was not much work until last year, there has been a sudden jump in production.
Chadha went on to dub the Modi government's demonetization move as "wasteful and dubious" in making India a cashless economy and said that similarly, the decision of outsourcing the printing of Indian notes to China is "counter-productive and dangerous."
"If the intent was to move towards a cashless economy, what is the objective of rolling out new currency for Rs10? Who is the beneficiary of the expense at which the printing is being pursued?" Chadha asked.
"Another suspicious aspect of this deal is how it negates our fight against counterfeit currency. This action puts us in a vulnerable position. Will this not create more avenues for international parties for counterfeiting?" he added.