Although printing of Rs 2,000 denomination notes has been significantly lowered, the Centre has not decided to discontinue the high denomination notes.
In a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha on Saturday, Minister of State for Finance, Anurag Thakur said that printing of bank notes of particular denomination is decided by the government in consultation with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to maintain desired denomination mix for facilitating transactional demand of public.
“During the year 2019-20 and 2020-21, no indent has been placed with the presses for printing of Rs. 2000 denomination notes. However, there is no decision to discontinue the printing of Rs. 2,000 denomination bank notes by the Government,” he said.
A total of 273.98 crore notes of the denomination of Rs 2,000, were in circulation as of March 31, 2020, compared to 329.10 crorenotes in March 31, 2019.
On a question regarding the impact of the pandemic on the currency printing process of various denomination notes, Thakur said that according to RBI in view of nation-wide lockdown printing of notes stopped temporarily.
However, the note printing presses resumed production in a phased manner, as per the guidelines issued by Central and state governments.
The production activities at Bharatiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran Private Limited (BRBNMPL) presses were suspended from March 23, 2020 to May 3. Printing of bank notes at BRBNMPL presses resumed from May 4, 2020.
Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India Limited (SPMCIL) has informed that printing of bank notes at their presses was also affected due to the Covid-19 pandemic, he said.
India’s Nov exports rise over 26%, imports over 57%
India’s merchandise exports in November rose to $29.88 billion, higher by 26.49 per cent on a year-on-year basis, preliminary data showed on Wednesday.
Exports in November 2020 stood at $23.62 billion.
According to the data furnished by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, last month’s exports rose by 15.93 per cent over November 2019.
“Value of non-petroleum exports in November 2021 was $26.06 billion, registering a positive growth of 18.1 per cent over non-petroleum exports of $22.06 billion in November 2020 and a positive growth of 18.69 per cent over non-petroleum exports of $21.95 billion in November 2019.”
The value of non-petroleum and non-gems and jewellery exports rose to $23.66 billion, registering a positive growth of 22.16 per cent over November 2020.
As per the data, India’s merchandise imports last month increased by 57.18 per cent to $53.15 billion over $33.81 billion in November 2020 and 37.96 per cent over $38.52 billion reported for the corresponding month of 2019.
“Value of non-petroleum imports was $38.47 billion in November 2021 with a positive growth of 39.9 per cent over non-petroleum imports of $27.5 billion in November 2020 and a positive growth of 40.12 per cent over non-petroleum imports of $27.45 billion in November 2019.”
“Value of non-oil, non-GJ (gold, silver & Precious metals) imports was $32.02 billion in November 2021 with a positive growth of 41.53 per cent over non-oil and non-GJ imports of $22.63 billion in November 2020 and a positive growth of 42.72 per cent over non-oil and non-GJ imports of $22.44 billion in November 2019.”
Consequently, India’s trade deficit last month widened by 128.30 per cent YoY to $23.27 billion from $10.19 billion while it increased by 82.48 per cent when compared to $12.75 billion reported for November 2019.
Fuel prices remain static barring Delhi
Barring Delhi, the prices of diesel and petrol remained unchanged across major Indian cities on Thursday.
Accordingly, diesel and petrol prices in Delhi stood at Rs 86.67 per litre and Rs 95.41 per litre, respectively.
Notably, prices of petrol in Delhi had been static at Rs 103.97 per litre since the past one month.
Prices have fallen in Delhi as it reduced the value added tax on the fuel from 30 per cent to 19.40 per cent. This decision was taken during a Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday.
In the financial capital Mumbai, petrol and diesel prices remained unchanged at Rs 109.98 and Rs 94.14 respectively.
Prices also remained static in Kolkata at Rs 104.67 and Rs 89.79 respectively.
In Chennai too, the prices of the two auto fuels remained constant at Rs 101.40 and Rs 91.43 respectively.
Across the country as well, the prices largely remained unchanged on Thursday, but the retail rates varied depending on the level of local taxes.
Equity indices extend gains, Power Grid top gainer
The 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) extended gains from the previous session in early trade on Thursday.
At 9.30 a.m., the S&P BSE Sensex traded at 57,992 points, up 0.5 per cent.
It opened at 57,781 points from the previous close of 57,684 points.
Till now it touched a low of 57,680 points.
Besides, the broader 50-scrip Nifty at the National Stock Exchange (NSE) opened at 17,183 points after closing at 17,166 on Wednesday.
It traded at 17,264 points, up 0.6 per cent during the early-morning trade session.
Power Grid, Adani Green, BPCL, Mahindra and Mahindra, and IOCL were some of the top gainers during the early trade, the exchange data showed.
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