?SPMCIL is debt-free now?

Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India was corporatised in 2006 and since then it has not looked back.

Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India (SPMCIL) was corporatised in 2006 and since then it has not looked back. The company has repaid a R1,000-crore loan taken from the Reserve Bank of India and government. It is now debt-free, and holds cash reserves of R2,000 crore. Today, about 90% of the country?s currency paper requirement is met through imports. But come 2014, SPMCIL will manufacture 90% of the currency paper requirement in India. In an interview to FE?s Noor Mohammad, SPMCIL chairman and managing director MS Rana talks about the central public sector enterprise?s business plans. Excerpts:

How has corporatisation worked for you?

In a short span of six years, we have been categorised as schedule-A CPSE and granted the Mini-ratna category?I status by the finance ministry. This is owing to our improved physical and financial performance. We have got excellent ratings for performance for the years 2009-10 and 2010-11. We have added a value of R3,307 crore since corporatisation. SPMCIL is the only successful example of corporatisation of the erstwhile government units into a company in India.

What is SPMCIL?s business model? Are you guided purely by commercial considerations?

There are four business verticals of SPMCIL carried out through its nine units. The Mints at Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Noida are engaged in the minting of 100% circulation coins, medals, medallions and 100% commemorative coins. The Currency Printing Presses at Nashik and Dewas fulfills 40% requirement of banknotes in the country. The Security Printing Presses at Hyderabad and Nashik are engaged in printing of passport, visa stickers, postal stationery, non-judicial stamp papers, and other security products. Thus, SPMCIL caters to the requirement of high security products viz., coins, currency notes, passport, etc. of the country.

Keeping in view the future demand of indents for currency and coins by the RBI, investments are done in the Mints and Currency presses. Similarly, investments are also being made on passport papers based on future indent.

Even as we meet the country?s requirement, it is envisaged that in three-four years, at least 25-30% revenue should come from export business diversification to other countries for coins, currency, passports, etc. and commemorative coins from the public. Investments are made to deter counterfeiting and indigenise critical raw materials of banknote-like paper, ink and security features so that India remains way ahead of counterfeit manufacturers. R&D and indigenisation of critical inputs are the thrust of our investments.

Do you currently make coins and currencies for other countries?

After corporatisation of SPMCIL, strategic business initiatives were undertaken and coins for Thailand and Dominican Republic were minted; and bank notes of various denomination for Nepal, weights & measures for Unido (Bhutan) were also manufactured.

We are thinking of catering to the currency and security products requirements of nearby countries, particularly in South East Asia. After the indigenisation of bank note paper production, SPMCIL will be ready to compete for printing the currency of other countries in the region. At present, our units are full with orders from the RBI.

Can you spot any emerging trend in your business?

The company has created reserves of about R2000 crore, returned loans of the RBI of R410 crore and the ministry of finance of R700 crore and has paid income tax of about R1,127 crore. It has also paid R115.43 crore in maiden dividend for the financial year 2010-11 to the government. We are now a debt-free company.

Advancement in technology has decreased demand of traditional security products and replaced them with IT-enabled products. For example, use of Internet/ mobile has affected the consumption of postal stationery. Similarly use of e-stamping, online deposition of stamp fees, e-franking, etc. has an impact on non-judicial stamp papers. The introduction of demat accounts and online FDRs (fixed deposit receipts) has decreased the usage of physical form of certificates with security features. The increased use of card/plastic money is another emerging trend.

SPMCIL is planning to introduce plated coins technology, as India Government Mints do not have facilities for making such coins. Further, reputed mints across the globe stamp bi-metallic coins by the process of simultaneous stamping and locking. Keeping this in view and the future coin requirement, SPMCIL has planned to introduce bi-metallic coining presses.

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First published on: 04-06-2012 at 01:42 IST