NEW DELHI -- The Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley, inaugurated an exhibition on the “Coin and Currency of India” in the Great Hall of North Block here . The Exhibition was organised by the Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance. It is for the First time that such an exhibition has been organised in this historic Hall which is otherwise used as a common passage to cross from one side of North Block to other side. 

This Exhibition depicts how money has changed in appearance and substance and evolved from barter to coins to the present day bank notes and e-money. The exhibition depicts the many names of money, some of which have gone into oblivion and some are in use even today. . The Exhibition presents a brief history of the Great Hall as well. 

Speaking on the occasion, the Union Finance Minister  Arun Jaitley said that this exhibition would help in knowing the history of evolution of currency in the country. He congratulated the Department for its innovative initiative and hoped that this Great Hall will also be used for multiple purpose in future as well which in turn would help in restoring its old grandeur. 

 Jaitley said that this exhibition and alternate usage of the Great Hall as an Atrium where officers of all Departments of the Ministry have came together before the Budget for 2016-17 is also for the first time. 

 Mohan Joseph, CGA who had co-authored a book with Shri Dhirendra Singh, a former Home Secretary titled ‘Sentinels of Raisina Hill’ and Razack, author of book titled "Indian Paper Money" presented a copy each of their respective book to the Finance Minister on the occasion 

Earlier speaking on the occasion,  Ratan P. Watal, Finance Secretary said that this initiative is part of the PM’s call for a Swachh Bharat, as this initiative would also help in keeping our office environment clean. He said that one of our targets for cleanliness has been this Great Hall of North Block whose top stone was laid on 30th September, 1927. This area had become no man’s land between the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Finance. He said that we have taken it upon as a mission to not only keep this place clean but also restore the memories of its legacy. 

As regards the Exhibition, Finance Secretary Shri Watal said that as a first, we put together with the well coordinated help of the RBI, CPWD, CISF, the Indian Army, Staff of DoE, Customs & Excise Officers and inputs from Mr. Rezwan Razack this Exhibition about the history of coinage and currency in India. He said that ‘Money’ is one of the greatest contributions of the human mind.

 He said that essentially it is a culturally construct which is still evolving with the demands, complexion and constraints of modern societies. He said that through this exhibition, people will see images of coinage and money not only as a medium of exchange but also get a sense of history. He concluded that Indian coinage has played a crucial role in documenting political and economic changes over time. 

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