New Delhi, Nov 30: Currency presses operated by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will reportedly print 1 billion new Rs.500 notes by December end, a report on Mint said.  It has started printing the new Rs. 500 currency note on Wednesday but three officials directly associated with the process said to Mint that the presses are running behind schedule.

Bharatiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran Pvt. Ltd. (BRBNMPL) has two presses, situated at Mysuru in Karnataka  and Salboni in West Bengal. This is a subsidiary of RBI and in accordance with Government-operated presses produce currency notes.

The Mint reported that the presses at Mysuru and Salboni will now shift their focus to Rs. 500 notes to ease the crunch of the currency note and it will not be until January when the system will be finally be comfortable with enough currency notes.

For the past two months, the RBI-operated presses have been focusing on the new Rs. 2000 currency note and has printed nearly 2 billion of the note till date. According to the aforementioned source, the two presses have the order to print 3.5 billion pieces of the new Rs. 2000 note.

As per the plan of the Government and RBI, the RBI-operated presses were supposed to print Rs. 2000 notes while the Government-operated press, Security Printing and Minting Corp. of India Ltd. (SPMCL) were to print the new Rs. 500 currency notes. But reportedly, the government company has printed less than 100 million pieces of the Rs. 500 notes so far.

Another report by Mint showed that the Government-owned presses at both Nasik and Dewas were running below the capacity. While reportedly, BRBNMPL can produce 16 billion notes annually. But currently it is printing 45-50 million pieces per day.

Notes are being airlifted from all the presses to RBI. 2,000 tonnes of currency paper will also reportedly be imported, as per the Mint report suggested. The current demand for paper till December is around 4,000 tonnes which will be met by the Bank Note Paper Mill, which is a joint venture between SPMCIL and BRBNMPL.