The then Union Minister of State for Finance Namo Narain Meena in a written reply in Rajya Sabha long back on 12.03.2013 had stated that Union Government and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) decided to issue polymer/plastic currency-notes of rupee-ten denomination on trial basis in five select cities namely Kochi, Mysore, Jaipur, Bhuvneshwar and Shimla with varied geographic locations and climatic conditions.
It is regretting that despite spending huge overheads on having too many subsidiaries including Bank Note Paper Mill India Private Limited (BNPMIPL), Security Printing & Minting Corporation of India Limited (SPMCIL) and Bhartiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran Private Limited (BRBNMPL) for similar aspects of making currency-paper and currency-printing, plastic-currency in ten-rupee denominations could not be introduced in last three years with coins of ten-rupee denomination gradually becoming popular in the meanwhile. If the experiment would have been successful, then altogether new set of plastic currency in all denominations with reduced sizes could be issued to save largely on currency-printing.
Significantly bureaucrats at Union finance ministry supersonically took retrogressive step of issuing never-seen one-rupee notes (sold in black-market and on website at abnormally heavy prices) on 06.03.2015 in less than one year of file-movement initiated on 22.04.2014 (see attachment) despite stiff resistance of RBI, perhaps because only one-rupee notes bear signature of Union Finance secretary while rest others bear signature of RBI governor!
Union government should take immediate steps to experiment ten-rupee polymer-notes. New set of polymer-currency in all denominations with reduced sizes (size was reduced last time in the year 1967) then should be introduced to save largely on currency-printing. In the meanwhile printing of one-rupee notes should be immediately discontinued with existing stock sold in plastic packs as collector’s item like plastic-sets of commemorative coins are sold.