The Reserve Bank of India's first greenfield venture of bank note paper mill at Mysore, in Karnataka, is expected to save Rs 1,280 crore of imports annually.
Currently, the entire quantity of currency notes needed is printed within the country. However, India produces only five per cent of the paper required for currency notes at its sole paper mill - Hoshangabad Security Paper Mill -and depends on imports for the bulk of the requirement. India is the second-largest country in the world after China in terms of number of notes printed.
The new paper mill has a production capacity of 12,000 metric tonnes and will cost Rs 1,500 crore to build. It is expected to cut India's import demand by more than half. India, which prints more than 20 billion notes annually, requires about 22,000 metric tonne of bank note paper.
According to information sourced through a Right to Information request from Bank Note Paper Mill India Pvt Ltd, an RBI subsidiary, there is likely to be a delay of about one year in setting up the mill from the original schedule of April 2014.
"The company is implementing a greenfield project. As such, starting from scratch takes a lot more than what is envisaged in the planning stage and for that matter some delays are unavoidable in the execution," it says in the RTI response. It adds that civil work is under progress and erection of plant and machinery has started.
The bank note paper mill is a joint venture between the note printing unit of the RBI and the central government. The foundation stone of the new bank note paper mill in Mysore was laid In March 2010 by then finance minister and now President Pranab Mukherjee. This plant is located closer to the RBI's note printing press in Mysore.
The country is self-sufficient in printing capacity. There are four printing presses - two owned by the government, at Nashik in Maharashtra and Dewas in Madhya Pradesh, and two owned by the RBI, in Mysore and Salboni in West Bengal. The notes printed at these four presses are distributed across the country through about two dozen offices of the RBI.
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