Arun Jaitley pushes for ‘plastic’ currency

NEW DELHI: After inaugurating a newly-minted facility to make special paper for currency notes at Hoshangabad in Madhya Pradesh a day before, finance minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday pushed for greater use of plastic money.

“The developed world has moved substantially to plastic currency and payment gateways. I think, there is a need on this for India. Our determination is also there to gradually take steps and move in that direction,” the minister said at a conference on indigenisation of currency here.

To popularize the use of plastic money, the government had launched the RuPay debit card in 2012 through the National Payments Corp of India (NPCI). The card enables electronic payments at all banks and financial institutions, competing with MasterCard, Visa and American Express.

At the same time, Jaitley also pushed for currency notes to be made in India from scratch.

On Monday, he inaugurated a paper-making line for bank notes at Hoshangabad and dispatched a consignment for printing Rs 1,000-denominated currency notes to the state-run security press at Nashik in Maharashtra.

Referring to the initiative here, Jaitley said: “It is about time we started printing our own currency with our own ink and paper. This is not mere symbolism. It also represents a thought process … there is a desire to bring back the Indian manufacturing to a particular level.”

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