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With persistent double digit inflation, the price of high level corruption has also sky-rocketed, so much so that it has become increasingly cumbersome to conduct high value transactions using wads of Rs.500 and Rs.1000 notes. In order to reduce such dead-weight transaction costs and improve liquidity in the corruption sector, the RBI has decided to introduce currency notes in denominations of 1, 50 and 100 crores into the economy.
The FICCE (Federation of Indian Chambers of Corruption in Everything), an apex body that caters to the interests of big players in the black economy has lauded the move.
“Such a move was long overdue. It is becoming next to impossible to process payments for multi-crore scams and Hawala route is unreliable. With the introduction of Rs.1000 crore notes, high level players in corruption can also look forward to the same level of convenience and reliability enjoyed by the unbanked poor who conduct their transactions with 1 rupee and 5 rupee coins without having to go through banking channels,” said FICCE honorary life President, Dawood Ibrahim.
However, many salaried middle class working professionals have criticized the RBI for ignoring their interests. “Introducing Rs. 1 crore denominated notes is fine but why didn’t they introduce Rs.1 lakh notes as well? Don’t they realize how demeaning and humiliating it is to withdraw money in Rs.500 bundles from the bank to make down payments in cash while buying real estate?” asked Karthik Iyer, an IT Engineer who recently purchased some land in the outskirts of Chennai.
The RBI has clarified that the new denominations will not feature Mahatma Gandhi or other national leaders. “FICCE representatives told us they feel very uncomfortable when they see Bapuji’s face on notes. So for the new series, we’ll feature upcoming film stars, socialites like Queenie Dhodie, babalog like Sid Mallya, that obnoxious Roadies chap, cute chicks like Poonam Pandey and other such celebrities who have carved a niche for themselves in desi popular culture,” said RBI Governor Subba Rao.
DMK has placed a request with the RBI to introduce Rs. 1 Lakh crore denominated notes as well since even Rs. 100 crore notes will not suffice for a certain class of transactions.