RBI staff unions are resisting the proposed change of currency distribution by the central bank, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
The proposed policy change would make currency distribution the responsibility of bank branches and currency chests across the country. Currency distribution is currently the responsibility of the RBI.
The move would mean shutting down of state centers of RBI, a move which will hit the staff strength. The unions have raised their voice against the move claiming the move would mean RBI is abdicating from core function of the central bank- distribution of currency.
There are around 5000 currency chests and 4000 small coin depots which have been assisting in currency circulation.
There are adequate coins in circulation, stated RBI, but the banks are not efficient in circulating coins to retail customer.
The RBI should have watched the entire process of the distribution with a tight control, but, on the contrary has decided to close the existing RBI counters.
The Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee recently stated, "It (currency distribution) is also the most visible of its functions, as it touches directly and immensely the common person.
The unions feel the absence of RBI from the distribution scene would give opportunities to unscrupulous people to take advantage and start hoarding and racketeering activities.
Strict monitoring and regular inspections of the chests and branches would hold the key.