Millions of Indian coins are being smuggled into neighbouring Bangladesh and turned into razor blades. And that’s creating an acute shortage of coins in many parts of India, officials say.
Police in Calcutta say that the recent arrest of a grocer highlights the extent of the problem. They seized what they said was a huge coin-melting unit which he was operating in a run-down shack…
"Our one rupee coin is in fact worth 35 rupees, because we make five to seven blades out of them," the grocer allegedly told the police.
In some cases the temporary solution is a private money:
To deal with the coin shortage, some tea gardens in the north-eastern state of Assam have resorted to issuing cardboard coin-slips to their workers.
The denomination is marked on these slips and they are used for buying and selling within the gardens.