WITH smaller coins getting out of circulation, the government is planning to roll out Rs 10 coin during Diwali. The finance ministry will soon invite global tenders for manufacturing 30 crore pieces of Rs 10 coins worth Rs 300 crore. The centre of approximately 7.71 gm, 17-mm diameter bimetallic composite rimmed Rs 10 coin will be an alloy of copper and nickel (cupro-nickel) while the rim will be of Al-Bronze (aluminium, copper and nickel). It is believed that only foreign suppliers will be able to supply these coins due to their unique composition.
In addition to the Rs 10 coin, the government has also decided to roll out 200 crore and 80 crore pieces Rs 2 and Re 1 coins worth Rs 480 crore. Sources said SAIL’s Salem Steel and Jindal Stainless Steel have bagged the contract to manufacture blanks of Re 1 and Rs 2 coins at an estimated cost of Rs 200 crore.
Trial runs have also begun for introduction of plated coins (with a low value metal as base and a plating of nickel to give it shine and endurance), a first for the Indian mint market. The Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India, the government company responsible for printing notes and stamping coins, is expected to invited global tenders for it soon.
Introduction of the Rs 10 coin was also recommended by the Tarapore Committee, deliberating on currency management. The committee was, however, not in favour of parallel supply of notes and coins of the same denomination. It had suggested complete phase-out Rs 5 notes. The suggestion is unlikely to be implemented due to shortage of coins of the denomination.
The government conceived introduction of Rs 10 coin over two years back. However, the trial runs of the earlier coin did not succeed resulting in the delays in its introduction.
Interestingly, RBI is empowered to issue coins of up to Rs 1,000 denomination and notes of up to Rs 10,000 or any other denomination specified by the government of India.
Coins of 5 paise, 10 paise and 25 paise have disappeared from the market while use of 50 paise coins too have become minimal. Currently, Re 1, Rs 2 and Rs 5 coins are used as singles. Coins up to 50 paise are called small coins while one rupee and above are called rupee coins.