99.3% Of Demonetised Currency Notes Returned To Banks So Far: RBI

Fredrick Soto
August 30, 2018

The overall reduction in detection of counterfeit notes was primarily due to the decline in cases of fake old Rs 500 notes.

However, Subhash Chandra Garg, the government's economic affairs secretary, told reporters the RBI data did not mean the effort was unsuccessful.

"That alone was a loss of Rs 2.25 lakh crore a year", he said.

The RBI said that the "humungous task of processing and verification of specified bank notes was successfully achieved and the total specified banknotes returned from circulation is Rs. 15,310.73 billion".

Over 99 per cent of the Rs 15.3 lakh crore taken out of circulation through demonetisation in November 2016 has returned to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the central bank announced on Wednesday.

On November 8, 2016, when the demonetisation was announced, currency notes of ₹1,000 and ₹500 denomination, valued at ₹15,40,000 crore, which accounted for 86.9 per cent of the value of total notes in circulation, were scrapped.

The Reserve Bank of India finally revealed the quantum of notes that have returned into the system post the Demonetization.

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the prime minister in his 2017 Independence Day speech had claimed that over Rs 3 lakh crore unaccounted money will come back to the system. "Swadeshi" economist S. Gurumurthy, who was recently appointed to the RBI's board, called it a "much-needed attack on excessive liquidity", while other government officials decried the high proportion of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes.

While The Wire has over the last eighteen months reported and analysed how India's currency-in-circulation (CiC) and currency-to-GDP ratio has not changed drastically after demonetisation, the RBI's annual report provides further proof of how little things have changed.

The number of fake notes of Rs 2,000 jumped to 17,929 in fiscal 2018 - a 2710 per cent increase from 638 pieces in 2016-17.

The government replaced old Rs 500 notes with new ones, but no replacement for Rs 1,000 notes have been made. The report also states the amount returned to be worth Rs 15.3 lakh crore against the Rs 15.4 lakh crore that was in circulation on November 8, 2018.

"It has helped India move faster towards a digital economy".

The report also shows that only 40% of the Rs 100 notes that were scheduled to be printed in 2017-2018 were supplied.

During the reporting financial year, 522,783 pieces of counterfeit notes were detected in the banking system, which was 31.4 per cent lower than in the previous year.

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