Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Tuesday said the shortage of small coins in a number of cities will be overcome in four to six weeks as RBI has already taken steps to make available adequate supplies.
"There is no shortage of coins in mints," he said replying to supplementaries during Question Hour in Rajya Sabha.
The Reserve Bank of India has reported that the shortage is being felt for the past one year, the Minister said.
The shortage of small coins in Maharashtra, Karnataka, the North-East and Orissa will be overcome in four to six weeks," he said.
"We have received reports of coins being melted (for trading of metal)," Chidambaram said adding the Government has since changed the raw material used for manufacturing of coins from Copper-Nickel to FSS (Ferritic Stainless Steel).
The Government has been minting Rs 2 coins in FSS instead of Copper-Nickel since 2005 and has also decided to mint Rs 5 coin in FSS.
Minting of Re 1, Rs 2 and Rs 5 coins has been placed on fast track and coins distributed through mobile banks, post offices and coin vending machines, he said.
To a question, Chidambaram said 11.43 lakh duplicate PAN cards have been cancelled till now.
He, however, did not give a time-frame for introduction of Biometric PAN cards to check duplicate PAN cards.
"The matter is under consideration, but it is not possible to give a time-frame by which bio-metric PAN cards will be issued," he said.