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Re 1 to Rs 5 coins circulation soars, but 50p in tailspin; RTI activist wants Rs 2 coin abolished

Wed December 02 2015, 2:11 pm
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    The circulation of Re 1, Rs 2, Rs 5 and Rs 10 coins has gone up in India over the last few years, while the 50 paise coin is losing visibility entirely, indicating that inflation is a problem with small denomination coins no longer carrying much value, if any, a thought-provoking RTI query has revealed.

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    The share of Rs 1 coins in the market in last five years has gone up from 29.10 per cent (of total share of coins) in March 2011 to 42.10 per cent in March 2015, it further revealed. In other words, till March 2011, total 32,675 million pieces of Re 1 coin were circulated in the market and the number scaled up to 41,627 million pieces in March 2015, as per the reply from Reserve Bank of India to a query by RTI activist Subhash Chandra Agrawal.

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    Interestingly, in what turned out to be a highlight of the report, the RTI reply also mentioned that the 50-paise coins, though not seen in much circulation of late, constituted a whopping 14.90 per cent of total coin production in the fiscal-year 2014-15. However, its circulation remained almost unchanged in last four years, as in 2011-12, total 14,785 coins of 50 paise were circulated, and the number marginally went up to 14,788 in 2014-15. RTI activist Subhash Agrawal questioned the need for minting 50 paise coins in such large number when "there is negligible need or demand for this denomination."

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    The RTI data also reveals that Rs 10 coins constituted a small 2.80 per cent (of total coin share), while Rs 2 coin had a significant share of 27.30 per cent in 2014-15.

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    The RTI activist suggested that the government, RBI and Security Printing & Minting Company Limited should concentrate only on minting coins of Re 1 and Rs 5, and abolish coins of Rs 2 and 50 paise.

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    However, a small regular increase in minting of Rs 10 coins may be there to gradually abolish currency-notes in this denomination, he further suggested.

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