Govt dismisses Opposition claim of two sizes of Rs 500 and Rs 2000 notes
Congress leader Kapil Sibal showed photocopies of the two kinds of Rs 500 notes in the Rajya Sabha in New Delhi on August 8. Photograph: (PTI)
The government today (August 8) dismissed the Opposition's allegations that two types of Rs 500 notes and also Rs 2000 notes were being printed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
The government said all Rs 500 notes had a single unique dimension, as did the Rs 2000 notes.
"Bank notes in each denomination has a distinct dimension. The size of new design Rs 500 bank note is 66mm x 150mm and the size of new design Rs 2,000 bank note is 66mm x 166mm," Minister of State for Finance Arjun Ram Meghwal said in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha.
The Rajya Sabha was adjourned after the Opposition Congress, supported by the TMC and the JD(U), alleged that two different sizes for the new currencies were being printed in what it called the "biggest scam of this century".
The Congress said the high denomination notes varied in terms of their size, design and other features and asked the government to explain where and how they were printed since the issue "raises questions over financial structure of the country".
The Congress said that two types of dimensions "jeopardises the credibility of Indian currency" and asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to come clear on the issue.
In a separate reply, Meghwal said that National Crime Records Bureau data indicates that the incidents of Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN) have been reported in some parts of the country. However, examination of the specific parameters reveals that the notes are of low quality.
"No high quality counterfeit new currency notes have been seized by any agency so far," Meghwal said.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the opposition party has been raising "frivolous" issues without giving notices to stall Zero Hour proceedings.
Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal, who raised the issue in the Rajya Sabha earlier in the day, said the party would keep flagging it in Parliament until the government comes out with an explanation.
The former Union minister also alleged that the demonetisation move "failed" to achieve its stated objectives of combating black money, corruption, counterfeit currency and terrorism.
He asked the government to explain its motive in invalidating the old Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 currency notes.
"First they should explain which dye was used (for printing the notes), what types of notes were printed, at which printing press notes of different sizes were printed.
"Having different size of currency notes jeopardises the credibility of the currency. The prime minister, finance minister, RBI governor should come to the fore and explain," Kapil Sibal told the press.