A day after a report stated that India is among the countries which get their currencies printed in China, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) lashed out at the Narendra Modi government over the claims. The party also questioned the Centre's move to not reveal details about its "decision" to the public.
Speaking at a press conference in Delhi, AAP spokesperson Raghav Chadha posed five key questions to Prime Minister Narendra Modi: Why the government did not publicly disclose that a Chinese government-led company has been printing the Indian currency? Why was the decision taken when it could leave the country vulnerable to counterfeiting? How much and for how long has the Indian currency been printed in China? What security measures will the Centre take if there is a "leak" in the technology used for printing the currency? Was the decision taken by the government to save money?
South China Morning Post, in a report, had quoted Liu Guisheng, President of the China Banknote Printing and Minting Corporation (CBPMC) as saying that a host of countries — including India — have contracts with the Chinese government for printing currency notes. However, the RBI authorities have denied the claim.
On the allegation that the Centre allowed CBPMC to print Indian currency to cut costs, Chadha questioned the necessity of the decision. He said that the Centre could have easily cut costs from other government endeavours, including Modi's recent spate in international travels. He added that the Modi government should not be putting India's financial sovereignty and national security on the line, simply to save money. "How can you put the country's national security and financial sovereignty at stake just to save Rs 100 crore? If you really wanted to save Rs100 crore, you could cut that from the Rs 8,000 crore spent (by the government) on advertising and announcements," he said. "You could have cut or reduced your international travel, for which you used Rs 5,000 crore from taxpayers."
Quoting the report, Chadha said that some governments have asked Beijing to keep this information under wraps because it can pose a threat to the national security of many companies, or trigger unnecessary debates at home. He further said that the AAP was compelled to question the prime minister's plans for the country, given the tumultuous relationship that India has with China.
Guisheng told the South China Morning Post that China only began printing foreign currency after Beijing launched the ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in 2013 to establish an economic corridor across 60 countries. He said that after, that the company won contracts for currency production projects for countries such as Thailand, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, India, Brazil and Poland.
The Congress has also sought an explanation from the Centre, with key leaders such as Shashi Tharoor taking to Twitter to raise their concerns.
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) August 12, 2018
Congress communications in-charge Randeep Singh Surjewala also underscored Tharoor's sentiment and asked if this was part of China's plan to engulf South East Asia.
Is ‘China Banknote Printing and Minting Corporation’ printing currency for Nepal,Bangladesh,Sri lanka? Is this Dragon’s new design to engulf South East Asia? Have the Chinese been given a contract to print Indian currency notes? If so, it’s a grave breach of National Security. https://t.co/YicRkNtITc — Randeep Singh Surjewala (@rssurjewala) August 13, 2018
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Updated Date: Aug 13, 2018 21:37:53 IST