Centre helping ‘tainted’ British note company, alleges Cong

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 12, 2018 Published on January 17, 2017

Former Kerala CM and senior Congress leader Oommen Chandy has alleged that the Modi government has compromised national interest by collaborating with “tainted” UK note printing company De La Rue.

He said the company has been short-listed for printing of plastic notes in India despite being blacklisted. “It shows complicity at the highest level,” he told reporters here on Tuesday.

Chandy said the Committee on Public Undertakings, then headed by BJP MP Jagdambika Pal, had tabled a report in Parliament and pointed out grave implications of outsourcing the printing of currency notes to foreign agencies. The panel had named note printing companies American Banknote Company, De La Rue and Giesecke & Devrient Consortium and warned that if these foreign companies were compromised at any time, national security would be at risk, he added.

Chandy further said the then government had stated that security clearance was denied to De La Rue after it failed to comply with the specifications stipulated in the contract.

Security clearance

“Media report dated January 19, 2012 had reported that the Home Ministry had blacklisted British firm De La Rue after it found 2,000 tonnes of its paper for printing currency notes lying unused at its printing presses and godowns. Evidence is available which categorically proves that the company denied security clearance is working closely with the Government of India,” he said, adding that a sharp increase in the share value of the company is a clear pointer towards its active cooperation with the Centre.

“A day before the infamous demonetisation decision was announced by the PM, the India-UK Joint Tech Summit was kickstarted in New Delhi. This summit had De La Rue as one among the platinum partners,” he added.

Finance Minister Arun Jailtley had said earlier the Centre has no dealing with the British company.

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Published on January 17, 2017
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