Bhopal, Dec 11: Retired employees have been roped in by the Bank Note Press (BNP) at Dewas in Madhya Pradesh to meet the demand for new currency following the cash recall exercise which has triggered a huge liquidity crunch.
The facility, managed by Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India Ltd (SPMCIL), is working round-the-clock to help tide over the cash crisis. "The unit is working to its full capacity with the help of retired and experienced employees.
The first consignment of new notes was sent to Bhopal on December 1," a senior BNP officer told PTI on condition of anonymity. Several consignments were sent to Delhi, Chandigarh, Kolkata, Guwahati, Kanpur, Bengaluru, Indore and Bhopal since then, he said.
The BNP has been regularly sending two to three consignments of currency notes to the Indore airport for transporting them to different locations of the country. "The consignments are airlifted to different cities, where RBI chests are located. The unit was printing Rs 20, 50, 100 and 500 bills prior to the demonetisation announcement. Now, the unit is only printing the new currency notes of Rs 500 denomination", BNP officer added. The employees are also working during lunch break and have their meal as and when they get time to ensure the printing work does not suffer, he said.
In addition to engaging the retired employees, the unit has also cancelled the leave and weekly holidays of all its staffers, he said. Another officer lamented the shortage of staff at Dewas BNP, located about 150km from the state capital Bhopal.
"Over the years, the strength of employees had been reduced to half at 1,500 following modernisation of printing process. We are under pressure now following demonetisation," he added. The employees, however, are in high spirit over the renewed targets. "I skipped the marriage of my own brother after the unit started working round-the-clock," said Anil Gupta, an employee of BNP.
Another staffer Suraj Sharma said he could not attend the marriage ceremony of his sister-in-law. "We are working round-the-clock in interest of the country. This is not disturbing us.
Instead, we are feeling proud," said Kamal Chouhan, a retired employee. Another facility in Madhya Pradesh contributing in dealing with the November 8 note invalidation fallout is Security Paper Mill (SPM), situated in Hoshangabad, about 75km from Bhopal.
This mill produces the paper for currency notes. "We have increased the production of security paper used for currency notes. As many as 1,200 employees of this unit are also working round-the-clock to meet the requirements of paper for currency notes," a senior official of SPM said.