It appears that following demonetisation, the Reserve Bank of India either did not know how much currency it was printing or didn't want to divulge those details.
In a reply to an RTI query filed by Mumbai-based activist Anil Galgali asking for details on currency printing between November 9 and November 19, RBI said, "the information sought is not available with us," the TOI reported.
RBI also reportedly cited Section 8 (1) (g) of RTI Act, 2005, which says information can be declined on the grounds if it endangers the life or safety of any person.
Galgali had specifically sought information on printing of Rs 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 2,000 notes between November 9 and 19. The reply prompted National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) former vice chairman Marri Shashidhar Reddy asking the Election Commission to make RBI disclose the information.
Reddy has raised questions about the whether more cash was printed and sent to poll-bound states by the government. In its reply, RBI also said bank notes were printed by Bharatiya Reserve Bank Note Madras in Bengaluru and Security Printing and Mining Corporation in New Delhi, and referred the query to them.
RBI has come under strong criticism for not been very forthcoming sharing the details of the decision leading up to demonetisation that has thrown the country in a cash chaos. RBI recently told a Parliamentary panel that it approved the decision just a day after it was advised to do so by the government, a move that is drawing concerns about the central bank/s independence.