Money & Banking

Whither the small coins?

L. N. Revathy Coimbatore | Updated on March 27, 2011

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The Government of India may have decided a few months ago to call back from circulation, small coins of denomination 25 paise and below. But haven't such coins been out of circulation quite some time ago, if one goes by everyday experience?

Shopkeepers have, for some time now, been tendering a toffee or two instead of small change, but definitely not for denominations of 25 paise or less. You would probably have noticed that even the vendor who supplies vegetables at your doorstep does not accept small denomination changes.

No questions are asked at big malls, for they conveniently place the ‘tender exact change' sign, and customers on their part quietly accept the toffee for a coin.

Why malls, try offering such small change to beggars. Even they have long since stopped accepting 25 paise coins, and often demand Re 1 or more.

If you had gone up the Palani or Tirupati hills, or to the Sabarimala temple in Kerala, you will recall people sitting on the wayside offering you change for big denomination notes, albeit for a commission. These people too offer only one rupee coins; no, not even 50 paise coins.

Are these small denomination coins in circulation at all, one wonders? This probably is one reason why authorities may find it difficult to get the coins back into the vaults. Bankers maintain that there is lack of enthusiasm or rush to surrender these coins. As such, these coins have either disappeared or not been in circulation for some time now. And even the toddler at home would probably refuse to accept these coins if you offered to drop them in his piggybank.

Published on March 27, 2011

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