Two months ago GreatGameIndia published a story The Secret World Of Indian Currency Printers (हिन्दी में पढ़ें: विमुद्रीकरण: भारतीय मुद्रा छापनेवालों की रहस्यमयी दुनिया) providing an insight into the foreign firms printing currency notes for India. The story kicked off into a national controversy prompting the press conference by Dilip Pandey, former Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and All India Panchayat Parishad exposing the role of #DeLaRue in printing of Indian currency notes and urging the Government to “clear the air on De La Rue connection”. To clear the air on the matter GreatGameIndia has under the Right to Information Act filed RTIs to which we have received no appropriate answers till now.
@imtspai : Yes
— Subramanian Swamy (@Swamy39) November 22, 2016
— ASHWANI MAHAJAN (@ashwani_mahajan) December 8, 2016
De La Rue shortlisted for printing plastic notes in India despite it being blacklisted showing complicity at highest level: @Oommen_Chandy
— INC India (@INCIndia) January 17, 2017
These Firms are also mentioned in Panama Leak Papers. Interesting point. Would Modi or FM pl answer? Obviously not!
— digvijaya singh (@digvijaya_28) December 23, 2016
— ?iSamajwadi USA?? (@SamajwadiFriend) November 22, 2016
As a result GreatGameIndia received an official notice from the advisory firm Brunswick on behalf of De La Rue regarding our published stories concerning the company. De La Rue made a startling disclosure that the firm “has received no notice nor are we aware that we are blacklisted in India”. De La Rue’s notice and the official GreatGameIndia response can be read here. The Finance Minister Arun Jaitley himself has rejected the charges saying his ministry has no dealings with the British company.
However, contrary information is coming to light from different parts of the Govt establishment. While the Finance Ministry has rejected the claims stating clearly that it “has no dealing with the British company” officials from the PMO has indicated otherwise – that the ban was lifted and the companies were removed from the blacklist.
As reported by Vijaita Singh for The Hindu,
“These companies are in the business for 150 years; they will not hamper their trade by passing on information of one country to another. Some of these firms even print currency notes for smaller countries. After the investigations, it was found that the two firms had not compromised the security features and the ban was lifted,” said the (PMO) official.
We would like to remind our readers that it is because of such outsourcing in the past by Indian Govt that a fake currency economy flourished. At the root of the fake currency economy is a British company called De La Rue (advised by Rothschild and JP Morgan – the controlling families of the East India Company with whom the Indian Government deals to this day) and a host of other European companies. De La Rue has been printing our currency notes since before Independence. Sometime during 2009-10 it came to light that it was because of De La Rue that Pakistan was able to print fake Indian currency notes. It was a matter of National Security so De La Rue and other companies were blacklisted and banned by Home Ministry.
However it has come to light that these same companies who were banned and blacklisted because of their links with Pakistan are also involved in the printing of the new Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes. Sources in the RBI have told India Today that around 16 million tonne of paper is being imported from the UK. That’s not all, RBI is even sourcing the specialized security thread used in new notes from centres across Italy, Ukraine and UK. The new note that you will have is not completely Indian made.
The same companies have also been contracted to supply polymer note making technology for printing Rs.10 plastic notes as well. What is more is that there are even suggestions being made to outsource the printing of Indian currency notes to foreign countries altogether. Recently Adi Godrej, Chairman of Godrej Group told India Today that “They (Government and RBI) should act and get Indian notes printed outside, there are several bodies that can do that”.
As we reported earlier there are even plans in discussion with De la Rue for setting up of a security paper mill and a research and development centre of identity software in Madhya Pradesh. Now it has come to light that the same blacklisted firm De La Rue has been awarded 10 acres of land in Aurangabad for printing not just Indian but foreign currency notes as well.
Disclosing this to The Quint, Shiv Sena MP Hemant Godse said the agreement was signed six months ago and a 10-acre plot for the proposed plant has been identified at the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) complex in Aurangabad. The currency printing plant will cost an estimated Rs 700 crore, Maharashtra government sources said.
As reported by The Quint,
This is the first time that a foreign company has been allowed to print currency notes in India. The only other foreign firm involved in the manufacture of products that go into the printing of currency notes is the Swiss SICPA, which has a plant in Sikkim that manufactures specialised, high-security inks for banknotes. The factory, which “processes the raw material imported from Switzerland”, began operations in 2004 and is said to be “IB (Intelligence Bureau) protected”.
“De La Rue representatives have told Maharashtra government officials that 90 percent of its printing efforts will be to produce foreign currency, though the company may also print 10 percent of Indian notes at the Aurangabad plant,” Godse said, adding that “De La Rue’s believes that its labour cost will be much lower in India.”
Martin Sutherland the new CEO of De la Rue in an interview titled Giving Make in India the Currency to Succeed with India Investment Journal has said that under the UK-India Defence & International Security Partnership Agreement which was signed in November 2015, De La Rue is committed to supporting both governments on the subject of counterfeiting under this agreement.
What is not known to many Indians is that De la Rue is the same company whose owner Roberto Giori who controlled 90% of the world’s currency-printing business was on the hijacked Indian Airlines Flight 814 also known as IC 814. And it is believed that a ransom was paid by the Indian Government for the safe release of Roberto Giori. This same company after being blacklisted by Indian Government lost its most valuable customer – the Reserve Bank of India and almost went bankrupt. What is most intriguing is that De la Rue that almost went bankrupt after losing RBI contracts reported a whopping 33.33% rise in its shares in the last six months and was a huge mover the day after the announcement for demonetization was made.
Former Chief Minister of Kerela Oommen Chandy has alleged that De La Rue is the same company which was the platinum sponsor of summit between Indian Prime Minister and British Prime Minister Teresa May, held in New Delhi from November 7 and 9. He also raised questions on the re-emergence of this blacklisted British company De La Rue in India around the time the demonetization drive was launched.
The question is if these European companies were banned and blacklisted how could they be involved in printing new Indian currency notes? How could the same companies that were a serious concern and banned because they posed a threat to National Security suddenly be cleared of the blacklist and given contracts in the printing our currency notes again and allotted acres of land to setup a plant in the country?
These are the questions that the Government needs to answer and all opposition parties including concerned citizens of India need to demand. The Government should clear the air on this very critical issue.
Report by Shelley Kasli for GreatGameIndia – India’s only quarterly magazine on Geopolitics and International Affairs.
The Jul-Sept 2016 issue of GreatGameIndia Magazine is dedicated exclusively for the understanding of how international markets work and how exactly it impacts Indian Rupee, published as a special #FinancialWarfare issue.
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GGI Reports on #DeMonetization & #DeLaRue
The Secret World Of Indian Currency Printers
विमुद्रीकरण: भारतीय मुद्रा छापनेवालों की रहस्यमयी दुनिया
When Was Ban On Blacklisted Currency Printer De La Rue Lifted?
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