The govt has refused to divulge whether or not it has decided to stop printing Rs 2,000 notes Photograph: (Zee News Network)
Samajwadi member Naresh Agrawal and Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad asked the government to clarify on the 2,000 notes issue
The Opposition in Rajya Sabha today candidly asked finance minister Arun Jaitley to clarify whether the government has decided to scrap the newly launched Rs 2,000 note and introduce a Rs 1,000 coin but India's finance minister refused to clarify.
Samajwadi member Naresh Agrawal asked a direct question to the government in the Rajya Sabha: "The government has taken a decision to scrap Rs 2,000 note. The RBI has been given order not to print the Rs 2,000 notes. ...if any policy decision been taken during the Parliament Session, the tradition is to announce it in the House."
Deputy chairman P J Kurien interjected, saying "that is RBI's action."
Naresh Agrawal added: "So far, the RBI has printed 3.2 lakh crore pieces of Rs 2,000 notes and now it has stopped printing... RBI cannot bully. One note ban has been done, the second one is being planned. Let the finance minister say...," he said.
To this Agrawal replied: "The RBI board had opposed it but the government took the decision. The earlier decision of demonetisation was taken by the government, the second one is also from the government."
Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad too sought clarification from the government on whether it was planning to introduce Rs 1,000 coins.
"Every day we read about a coin of 1,000, 100 and 200. What is the actual status? Are we to go by what media is writing? The House is to be enlightened by the finance minister. What is the truth," he asked.
"Are we going to have coin of Rs 1,000. To carry coins, we have to purchase a bag? We must know. Our sisters have the purse. We shall also have to buy purse just to carry the coins of Rs 1,000 (denomination)," he added.
DMK member Tiruchi Siva too sought clarification from the government on the issue but the treasury bench stayed mum on the issue.
JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav said the issue was serious "as the rumours are strong". "The government should clarify and stop the rumours or else people will start returning Rs 2,000 notes."
The government, however, has decided to play it safe.