It refers to reluctant response from Indian government's minting authority, that too only after CIC directions which stated that metal cost of silver-alloy coins with face-value of Rs 150, issued on the 150th birth-centenary of Rabindranath Tagore, was Rs 971 at time of issue of coins.
SIGNIFICANTLY SUCH coins have since been discontinued to be made available to commoners at face-value, depriving them from being part of such commemorations through issue of silver-alloy coins.
Earlier there was a practice (like Gandhi centenary coins issued in the year 1969) to issue silver-alloy commemorative coins at face-value from date of occasion itself which was later discontinued. It is against democratic norms that only a few VVIPs are privileged to get attractively packed coin-sets free at the time of formal issue of commemorative coins. System of issuing silver-alloy coins at face-value right from date of issue should be restored by having their face-value about twice the metal-cost at the time of issue of such coins.
Cumbersome practice of selling higher-priced coin-sets through advance-booking much after issue of coins should be simplified by having just one category of ‘Proof Coin Set’ abolishing the other category of ‘Uncirculated Set’ to be sold at convenient sale-points like bank-counters (private and public-sector) and philatical centres right from date of issue of coins for affording coin-collectors by giving banks sale-commission.
Such steps will not only make general public part of commemorating an occasion through issue of coins, but will give net revenue-earning to government because such high-priced coins and their sets never come in actual circulation.