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Mumbai: The design of new banknotes of Rs500 and Rs2000 denominations was approved at the 19 May 2016 meeting of the central board of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), an RTI query has revealed. RBI, however, refused to disclose the name of the governor who approved the design citing section 8(1)(a) of the transparency law.

In his application, city-based activist Jeetendra Ghadge had sought the exact date of the approval of the design of new bills. “The new design of the bank notes was approved by the central board of Reserve Bank of India in its meeting held on 19 May 2016," the central public information officer of RBI stated in the response.

As per RBI Act, 1934, general superintendence and direction of the bank’s affairs are taken care of by the central board of directors, a body headed by the governor of the RBI.

Also Read: No records of fake currency deposited in banks: RBI

Raghuram Rajan was governor of RBI during September 2013-September 2016. RBI cited section 8(1)(a) of RTI Act to refuse information to Ghadge who had sought to know exact date of the first meeting held at RBI with the agenda to print new currency notes of Rs500 and Rs2000 denominations, and the exact date for the order allowing their printing.

Ghadge on Tuesday said RBI and its governor need to come clean on the entire processes of demonetisation “so that responsibility could be fixed and the common people’s trust is maintained."

Demonetisation of old Rs500 and Rs1000 bills was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 8 November last year. RBI governor Urjit Patel had recently appeared before the Parliament’s public accounts committee (PAC), and the standing committee on finance headed by former union minister and senior Congress leader Veerappa Moily, to clarify on demonetisation.

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