Millions of Indian coins are being smuggled into neighbouring Bangladesh and melted down and turned into razor blades according to a BBC report .
"Our one rupee coin is in fact worth 35 rupees, because we make five to seven [razor-] blades out of them,"
In Calcutta alone, India's central bank - the Reserve Bank of India - has distributed coins worth nearly six million rupees ($150,000) to overcome the shortage in the last two weeks . Long queues form outside the bank's regional office in the city centre every time this happens.
Unscrupulous touts set up makeshift shops and collect as many of the coins as they can, only to sell them later at a premium. The coin shortage is most acute in the north-eastern frontier town of Agartala, right on the border with Bangladesh and believed to be a major centre for contraband trade with Bangladesh. In Guwahati, Assam's capital and the business hub of India's northeast, small coins like 50 paisa have completely dropped out of circulation.
We can only say , ...Oh , for that day when all the world's coinage is turned into something as socially useful as razor-blades .
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