GreatGameIndia has received an official response statement from the advisory firm Brunswick on behalf of the British firm De La Rue regarding our published stories concerning the company. Below is the official De La Rue response statement received by us and GreatGameIndia’s reply to the same.
De La Rue Official Response Statement
“De La Rue categorically refutes the defamatory and malicious allegations about its business published in Indian media. De La Rue is not supplying paper for printing of Indian currency and we are not associated with printing of currency in India at present in any form. De La Rue has received no notice nor are we aware that we are blacklisted in India.
De La Rue does not supply currency paper and is not printing currency for Pakistan and would never supply currency paper manufactured for one country to another.
De La Rue is the world’s leading commercial banknote printer supporting 140 countries. The company is listed on the London Stock Exchange, is a founder member of the Banknote Ethics Initiative and operates to the highest ethical standards. De La Rue will take appropriate steps in India to protect its reputation as the trusted currency printer around the world.”
GreatGameIndia Official Response Statement
GreatGameIndia in no way bear any ill will towards De La Rue. We echo the concerns of India’s highest authorities namely the Committee on Parliamentary Undertakings, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry Of Home Affairs and the Reserve Bank of India regarding the security of our nation.
We would like to bring to your kind notice the findings of the Ministry of Finance as expressed in response to the questions raised on 20th Dec 2011 in the Rajya Sabha.
Question raised by Shri P. Rajeeve on the subject of ‘supply of fake bank note papers by De La Rue’:
- whether the British firm De La Rue, with which Government has had contracts, has been supplying fake bank note paper;
- whether contracts signed between De La Rue and Bharatiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran Private Ltd.(BRBNMPL) have provisions for termination on grounds of the paper not meeting specifications;
- how many metric tonnes of banknote paper received from De La Rue is currently lying in the godowns in India for transportation to currency printing presses; and
- The details of decisions taken in this regard?
Answers to same by the Ministry of Finance:
(a) to (d) : De La Rue had some contracts with BRBNMPL for supply of bank note paper to India. However during July-August 2010, it came to the notice that the paper being supplied by De La Rue was not conforming to some of the prescribed specifications. Accordingly, the supply of the paper was suspended. The deficiency in the Paper was subsequently admitted by De La Rue also. Meanwhile, the security clearance was denied to De La Rue and thus the supplies were not resumed. BRBNMPL have informed that the contract can be terminated relying on fact that the paper supplied by De La Rue was not strictly as per the contract specifications.
As on date, no paper is lying in godowns in India for transportation to Currency Printing Presses. In the absence of security clearance to De La Rue, the supplies cannot be resumed and stocks cannot be used.
We would also like to bring to your kind notice the official report of the Parliamentary Committee on Public Undertakings (COPU) expressing the said concerns.
Excerpt from the COPU report laid on the Table of Rajya Sabha on 21.03.2013:
The Committee is aghast to note that the RBI had outsourced the printing of notes to three foreign countries in the year 1997-98. The Committee was informed that 2000 million pieces of 100 rupee denomination and 1600 million pieces of 500 Rupee denomination of notes were outsourced for printing at (i) American Banknote Company (USA) – 635 million pieces; (ii) Thomas De La Rue, UK – 1365 million pieces (100 rupee denomination), and Giesecke & Devrient Consortium (Germany) – 1600 million pieces (500 rupee denomination), amounting to a sum of Rs. One lakh crores. On further inquiry the Committee was also given to understand that such outsourcing of the printing of notes was not done either prior to 1996 or after that. The reasons such as (a) the bad conditions of the notes and (b) the ‘soilage’ factor etc. mentioned by the representatives of the RBI are far from convincing. The RBI system of a assessment with respect to the demands of the bank notes in the country has been off the mark resulting in a gap between the demand and supply of bank notes, but this is a factor that was constant prior to and after 1996. The Committee rejects the reasons that have been forwarded for this extraordinary decision which is unprecedented.
The Committee also find it pertinent to point out that during printing of currency notes worth 1 lakh crores in three different countries, there was always a grave risk of unauthorized printing of excess currency notes, which would have been unaccounted money. The Committee simply wonder how come a decision was taken to have the currency notes printed by above mentioned companies in three different countries. Logically speaking since all the said three countries are well developed, each country certainly had the capability of undertaking the entire printing assignment. In any case the very thought of India’s currency being printed in three different countries is alarming to say the least. During that particular fateful period our entire economic sovereignty was at stake.
The Committee is concerned of the grave implications of such a move as it has wider ramifications in a multi faceted angle. The danger of destabilizing the economy by the agencies of authorities who could have misused our security parameters vis-à-vis printing of currency notes, the use of such notes which could have been printed in excess could easily have fallen in the hands of unscrupulous elements such as terrorists, extremists and other economic offenders, looms large in our minds. The Committee expresses its strong resentment over such an unprecedented, unconventional and uncalled for measure. The Committee while recommending that SPMCIL be strengthened to undertake the printing and minting of the required currency notes/coins fervently emphasise that outsourcing of printing of currency notes/minting coins should never be resorted to in the future.”
As you can understand, involvement of foreign firms in the printing of Indian currency in any form is a matter critical to Indian establishment. It were these concerns regarding the safety and security of the nation that prompted GreatGameIndia to ascertain the indigenous printing of Indian currency. It would be incorrect to term it ‘defamatory and malicious’.
Provided below are relevant documents.
British firm supplying currency paper banned Dec 21, 2011, Times of India