The Finance Ministry issued as many as 160 million currency notes of one rupee denomination in the last two years, nearly two decades after they were taken off print, according to queries made under the RTI Act.
Delhi-based RTI activist Subhash Chandra Agrawal and Mumbai-based RTI activist Manoranjay Roy had, in separate RTI queries, sought the number of one rupee currency notes issued by the government in the last 20 years.
"In 1994-95, total 40 million currency notes of one rupee denomination were issued. Thereafter, there was no issuance of one rupee notes from fiscal year 1995-96 till fiscal year 2013-14," the reply furnished by Deputy Manager (HR) and Public Information Officer of Currency Note Press, G Krishna Mohan, said.
However, in the fiscal year 2014-15, a total five million notes and in the current fiscal year, a total of 155 million notes of one rupee denomination, were again introduced in the market, the reply said.
It further said that in fiscal year 1994-95, the production cost of 40 million currency notes of one rupee denomination was Rs 59,40,059, implying that the production cost stood at Rs 1.48 per note.
Agrawal claimed, "I possess the file notings and the correspondence which indicate that the process of reissuing new one rupee notes at a high printing cost was a bureaucratic exercise carried out by the Manmohan Singh-led UPA government, and it was done despite stiff resistance from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI)."
"Besides, one rupee note is being sold openly through websites at a premium price of Rs 50, which the apex bank needs to put a check on," he said.