New Delhi: Admitting shortage of coins, the government on Tuesday said that it has taken up a capacity expansion programme to produce 18,000 million pieces annually.
Replying to supplementaries in Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha also said that counterfake currencies are a "threat" to the nation and hence the government "has been taking and will take" all steps to augment the security of the place where currency is printed.
He also said that introduction of new technology including having plastic currency are always under consideration, when asked whether the government could consider coming out with plastic currency to meet the challenge for counterfeiting.
Giving details of the demand-supply gap in coins for the last three years, Sinha said there has been a shortfall by the government vis a vis indent placed by Reserve Bank of India.
In 2013-14, the RBI gave an indent of 12,033 million pieces of coins while the total supply that could be made was 7,677 million pieces with a gap of 4,356 million.
In 2014-15, the India Government Mint could supply 7,907 million pieces of coins as against the RBI indent of 13,840 million pieces. The gap was 5,933 million pieces.
The last financial year 2015-16 recorded a gap of 4,982 million pieces of coins. Even though supply was increased to 9,258 million pieces, it was way behind the RBI's order of 14,240 million pieces of coins.