Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today inaugurated a new production line here to manufacture currency paper, saying it symbolised the beginning of the ‘Make In India’ initiative and would ensure high-denomination notes are printed on locally-made paper.

Currently, currency notes of larger denominations are printed on imported paper though the ink used is mostly produced within the country, the Minister said.

Jaitley made these comments after inaugurating the New Bank Note Paper Line with an annual capacity of 6,000 tonnes at the Security Paper Mill (SPM).

The Minister also expressed happiness that the Government’s flagship ‘Make In India’ programme was making a beginning in Madhya Pradesh, which had ceased to be a Bimaru (sick) state following various initiatives taken by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan in the recent past.

The Madhya Pradesh government has done well to promote agriculture and infrastructure and it should now focus on industry, he said, while promising to consider the state’s demand for more initiatives to encourage manufacturing activity.

Hoshangabad was chosen as the centre for producing paper for printing currency notes several decades ago by Morarji Desai, who was the then Finance Minister and later became the Prime Minister.

However, it produced paper for printing of currency notes of smaller denominations only, Jaitley said.

With the development of new facilities at Hoshangabad and also Mysore, it would be possible to produce currency printing paper in adequate quantities to meet the needs of the nation.

The Bank Note Paper Line facility at Mysore would have a capacity of 12,000 tonnes and was expected to be commissioned by the year-end.

A Finance Ministry statement read: “The combined savings of foreign exchange from these two Bank Note projects will be about Rs 1,500 crore in the coming years.”

This will also reduce the possibility of a diversion of the paper supplied by foreign countries to other destinations for the purpose of generating fake currency, the Ministry said.