China printing rupees? Govt denies claims as report raises concerns

India might be opposed to China's One Belt, One Road initiative, seen as a potential infringement on its sovereignty.

The opposition was reacting to a news report in the South China Morning Post Sunday, which claimed that India was among a number of countries that had granted the state-owned China Banknote Printing and Minting Corporation permission to print currency notes. "Indian currency notes are being and will be printed only in Indian Government and RBI currency presses", Subash Chandra Garg, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

While the government has come forward with an explanation, the Reserve Bank of India's silence on the report has raised a few eyebrows.

Party MP Shashi Tharoor also tweeted that if the report was true, it would have "disturbing national security implications". "Not to mention making it easier for Pak to counterfeit", the Congress leader tweeted quoting another tweet carrying SCMP report.

An article in South China Morning Post titled, "Why other countries are giving China a licence to print money", has said that a Chinese state-owned company, China Banknote Printing and Minting Corporation, has been contracted to print currencies on huge scale of worldwide countries including that of India. India has been opposed to China's Belt and Road initiative since its genesis.

The Indian government has denied a report that a Chinese company would be printing its currency notes, calling it "baseless" amid social media outrage.

The report, published by South China Morning Post, claims that China Banknote Printing and Minting Corporation has been running to full capacity, despite registering a fall in the local demand owing to a rise in mobile payments in the recent years. He further said, the company had "seized the opportunities brought by the initiative and successfully won contracts for currency production projects in a number of countries including Thailand, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, India, Brazil and Poland". However, that changed in 2013 with Beijing launching the belt and road plan, involving about 60 countries from Asia, Europe to Africa.

"Two years later, China started printing 100-rupee notes for Nepal, Liu wrote in a journal of China's central bank in May". It was this report, which prompted Congress leaders to accuse the government of compromising with the security of the nation today.

The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), that analyses suspicious financial transactions pertaining to money laundering and terror financing as part of the Union Finance Ministry establishment, reported that counterfeit currency transactions in the banking and other economic channels witnessed an increase by over 3.22 lakh instances during 2016-17 as compared to the previous year.

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