99.3 per cent of demonetised currency returned to banks: RBI

Economy       Rs 13,000 crore – the amount of currency banks did not get back after demonetisation
       
       	        Mahua Venkatesh         29 August 2018

On 8 November, 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced withdrawal of high denomination currency notes of Rs 500 (old series) and Rs 1,000 in a televised speech.

"RBI's annual report for 2017-18 said, The processing of SBNs has since been completed at all centers of the Reserve Bank".

Almost 2 years after demonetisation, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Wednesday, in its 2017-18 annual report said that 99.3 percent of banned notes were returned in the banking system. This year, it transferred Rs 500 billion to the government as dividend, compared with Rs 306.6 billion a year ago.

The share of newly introduced Rs 200 banknotes in the total value of banknotes in circulation was 2.1 per cent as at end-March 2018. Counterfeit notes detected in SBNs decreased by 59.7 and 59.6 per cent in the denominations of Rs 500 and Rs 1000, respectively, as the same comprised only the residual part of SBN deposits processed during the year 2017-18.

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The volume of banknotes, however, increased by 2.1% In value terms, the share of Rs 500 and Rs 2000 banknotes, which had together accounted for 72.7% of the total value of banknotes in circulation at end-March 2017, increased to 80.2 % as at end-March 2018. The total value of SBNs in circulation as on November 08, 2016, post verification and reconciliation, was Rs 15,417.93 billion.

The move hit India's growth, driving it to a three-year low of 5.7 percent in the June quarter of 2017, with several small businesses shutting down and many labourers losing their jobs. This increased to 9,892 such notes in 2017-'18.

Demonetisation had prompted the central bank to print new currency notes, reducing its profit and cutting annual dividend payout to the government by half a year ago.

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". This was because of processing of large volume of SBNs withdrawn from circulation.

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