Salboni, Dec 28 A section of employees of the currency printing press at Salboni in West Bengal has informed the authorities that they will not be working beyond nine-hour shifts from tomorrow, indicating a slump in printing of currency notes at the facility.
The Bharatiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran Private Limited (BRBNMPL) Employees' Association have served a notice to the authorities that several of their members have taken ill due to continuous overtime shifts since December 14. Trinamool Congress MP and president of the Association Sisir Adhikari said, "Several employees have taken ill at the currency presses in Mysore and Salboni. Since December 14, all employees were forced by the authorities to do 12-hour shifts so that round-the-clock printing of notes could be done to meet the sudden huge demand of notes specially of Rs 500 and Rs 100 denominations."
"We had repeatedly urged the authorities that more recruitment should be done to at least keep the workers fit to carry on with their duties, but nothing has been done. The workers are not slaves that they will continue doing 12-hour shifts," he said. The BRBNMPL-Salboni facility prints around 96 million notes daily with workers putting in two shifts of 12-hours duration each. Association secretary Nepal Singh said the output at nine-hour shift would be 34 million notes, a total of 68 million in two shifts.
The shortfall would be of 28 million notes from the present output level. Asked about the huge demand of new currency notes post-demonetisation and suffering of common people due to this sudden decision of the association, Adhikari said, "We know there will be problems, but the Centre has to solve it as it was their decision to demonetise currency notes in the first place."
Around 700 employees working at the Salboni facility are affiliated to BRBNMPL Employees' Association. The press prints all currency denominations from Rs 10 to Rs 2,000. Authorities of BRBNMPL-Salboni denied to comment on the situation.