Taking a scathing jibe at Reserve Bank of India Governor Urjit Patel, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Monday questioned the timing of central bank’s decision to buy cash counting machines. “RBI buying note counting machines 8 months after demonetisation! Has RBI not heard of ‘leasing’?” Chidambaram tweeted. Chidambaram also took a swipe at Prime Minister’s Mudra scheme. “7.28 crore youth self-employed under MUDRA loan scheme’ — that is title of mythological serial beginning today. Scriptwriters may apply,” he Tweeted. The former finance minister was referring to a statement by RBI Governor Patel where he had said that central bank is planning to buy more machines for note counting. Patel, appearing before Parliamentary Standing Committee of Finance, revealed that counting of the notes is still on and the information will be provided at the earliest. Urjit said that that bank currently has 66 machines to count the notes and a tender to buy more machines has been issued. He further revealed that 59 machines are owned by RBI and 7 have been rented. R
evealing reasons for the long delay in the announcement high-value notes, RBI chief informed the members that the bank has still to receive the Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes from Cooperative Banks, a report published in Hindi Daily Dainik Jagran said. Patel also revealed that RBI employees are working round-the-clock for the same and have even been forced to cut their holidays. Patel’s defence came after members of Standing Committee reportedly started grilling Patel for the delay in note counting. The RBI is yet to issue a final figure on receiving of demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 100 banknotes. The RBI chief faced some tough questions as a Congress member even went on to ask if RBI would be able to provide details of the amount of cash deposited post- demonetisation by May 2019, the time by when the tenure of the current Narendra Modi regime ends.