Stating that it was the responsibility of the income tax (I-T) department to identify, and subsequently classify wealth as ‘black’ and ‘white’ money, former governor of the Reserve Bank of India and chairman of the 14th finance commission YV Reddy on Sunday said, “Banks have no role in classifying wealth as black and white. In the wake of demonetisation, banks would be failing in their duty if they do not succeed in paying new currency to the bearer in keeping with the promise that is embossed on all legal tender.”
Reddy, who participated in the inaugural session of the second edition of the Mysuru Literature Festival 2018, attributed the Reserve Bank of India’s inability to provide new tender to the public following demonetisation to its low printing capacity. “The bank was unable to provide new currency against the demonetised notes since the printing capacity was not in step with the number of notes withdrawn from circulation,” he said.
Elaborating on the technical issues involved in the problem, Reddy said that the printing press for currency notes issued tender in accordance with the requirements. “The number of staff involved in printing notes may be too few.
Demonetisation bears huge pressure on the press, and the staff. The press will have to print notes against all the demonetised notes, which are large in number,” he added. Queried about the contentious dispute surrounding willful defaulters, Reddy said, “When I was the governor of the RBI, there were no such problems.”
Touching upon his enduring tryst with letters, Reddy said that he was 15 when he first began to write. “I wrote for my school magazine, and that was the beginning. My article was about the evils of caste system, which continues to remain a problem in our country. I continued writing later on. Many of my works have been appreciated in foreign countries as well,” he said.