Scrapped Indian notes sail to Dubai to end up as furniture

Dubai, Dec 13 (IANS) After demonetisation, Indias invalid Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes are now on their way to Dubai and may end up in your living room as a piece of furniture or a photo frame, says a report in Gulf News.

About 30 to 40 per cent of the hardboard and fibreboard products made by recycling the scrapped notes are being exported through Dubai, P.K. Mayan Mohammad, whose firm in Kerela was chosen by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to recycle the demonetised currency notes, told the Dubai-based newspaper.

“We are exporting the fibreboards to various countries in Europe, Africa and also to Australia,” the paper quoted Mohammad, who was in Dubai, as saying.

The locally imported boards are used for making furniture such as wardrobes, shelves, drawer bottoms, photo frames and mirror frame backing and for making partitions.

Explaining to the newspaper how it all started, Mohammad said the RBI’s regional office in Thiruvananthapuram inquired about his firm’s capability to recycle shredded currency notes a couple of weeks before the government made the demonetisation announcement.

The RBI approached Mohammad on October 20. However, he said he had no idea a demonetisation move was afoot at that time.

“I thought they had decided to recycle the soiled notes instead of burning them. I, too, got to know about the demonetisation plan only when the Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) announced it,” he was quoted by Gulf News as saying.

The company made use of the thermomechanical pulping method. “We are the only facility with this technology (in India). It uses high electrical energy, steam pressure and temperature,” he said.

The firm started using the pulp of the invalid notes as one of the raw materials that are mixed with wood pulp for making hardboard and fibreboard.

Once that became a success, the RBI asked the company to lift more truckloads of shredded notes.

“We have been picking up almost 60 tonnes of shredded notes a week,” Mohammad told the paper.

–IANS

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