Chandy questions British currency printing firm’s India presence

Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 4 (IANS) Former Kerela Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Wednesday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to explain the role of British company De Le Rue, which had been earlier blacklisted, in printing currency in India.

Chandy, in a letter to Modi, cited a media report saying that three companies, including De La Rue, had been shortlisted for printing plastic notes, and requested the ministry concerned “publish the list of companies that are shortlisted/qualified for printing plastic currency in India”.

He noted that the British company was denied security clearance in 2011 and the current status has not been explained.

He also wrote in his letter that the company was blacklisted during the UPA’s tenure as it could not “comply to the specifications of the contract”.

Addressing reporters here, Chandy said that it was baffling that a webpage that referred the company as “platinum sponsor of the Indo-British Tech Summit” has been removed, after he first raised this issue on December 31. The summit was held last year in Delhi from November 7-9 and Prime Ministers of India and Britain had taken part in it.

“The sudden removal of one page from the website of the summit is really mysterious.I have asked in my letter to Modi to let the country know, if this particular British company, which was earlier blacklisted during the UPA government time has been given any job by his government. According to their annual reports, they say they had no operation in India in 2013, 2014 and 2015. But in the 2016 report, they say they have started operations in India,” Chandy said.

He also noted that Minister for State for Finance, Arjun Ram Meghwal on December 9, 2016, had stated in Parliament that India has taken steps to print plastic currency.

–IANS

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