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Nitesh Kumar Sahoo

There was a time when the Indian market faced a huge crunch of coins as the loose change almost had vanished from the market. 

But, now the table seems to have turned. It seems coins have lost their market value which has become the reason for all trouble for possessors.

June 30, 2011, marked the demonetization of the lowest circulating coin, 25 paise, and  50 paise became the lowest denomination circulating coin. Gradually the 50 paisa coins lost their market value and was unofficially banned in the market. Even though there is no regulation or any ban on their use, coins of all denominations are slowly losing their significance. 

Even banks are refusing to accept the deposit of coins. Under such circumstances, possessors with a heap of coins are now staring at uncertainty.

Banks Refuse Accepting Coins From Temples 

Every day, devotees donate coins in huge numbers at hundis (donation box) of temples which get further deposited in banks by the administration. Same is the case with the Ghatagaon Tarini Temple administration.

Deposits in form of coins are getting piled up at the State Bank of India (SBI) Ghatagaon branch. 

As per reports, currently the SBI branch has around Rs 53 lakh in  coins. Similarly, a Bank of India branch in Keonjhar has piled up around Rs 27 lakh in coins. Every day, the amount is increasing which is also turning into a headache for the banks.

Meanwhile, the SBI branch's management has asked the temple administration not to deposit coins as the bank is running out of space. 

"The banks are unable to distribute the coins to others for which they have asked the temple administration not to deposit coins until they distribute the present stock," informed Sanjeev Mohapatra, member of Ghatagaon Tarini Temple board.

Similar is the condition of several other famous temples including Nabarangpur's presiding deity Maa Bhandari Gharani and Maa Majhighariani Temple of Rayagada. In a single year, around Rs 3-4 lakh donation is collected from the hundis in form of coins. 

Meanwhile, temple trustees have warned of taking up the matter with the Reserve Bank of India if the banks don't accept the coins.

"We will contact the senior officials of RBI and SBI so that they can streamline the deposit of coins so that we don't face any issue every other day," said a member of Majhighariani Temple trust.

Beggars, Shopkeepers, Traders Facing The Brunt Of 'Unofficial Ban' On Coins

Not just temples are facing the trouble of an unofficial ban on coins. Even beggars sitting in front of the temples are facing the brunt. The beggars are not accepting coins anymore in form of donations. 

"We are unable to purchase anything with the coins received in donation as the shopkeepers refuse to accept those," said a beggar.

Even, shopkeepers and traders have a similar story to share. A shopkeeper said that 50 paisa coins are not in circulation for 2 years now and no one is even accepting small size Re 1 coin.

Reality Check

As per OTV's reality check, the employees at RBI also refused to accept coins as the bank already has a heap of coins. 

Though no official announcement has been made regarding the ban on 50 paise and Re 1 new coins, those have been unofficially banned and are not in circulation. Coins valuing over crore are lying useless. 

Meanwhile, economists have expressed concerns over the matter.

"Public has self-declared several coins as 'banned'. The flow of money during transactions is affected by this. This will impact the economic growth of the country. It is essential to spread awareness publicly regarding the legal tenders," said Kumarbar Das, an economist.

On the other hand, Pratap Swain, a former bank official said, "The RBI has instructed all banks to accept coins as well as mutilated notes as deposits. The banks are bound to accept and exchange the legal tenders. Coins are and will remain in use."

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