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

There was a rise of 35% in counterfeit notes detected of ₹100 denomination from a year earlier

There was a rise of 35% in counterfeit notes detected of ₹100 denomination from a year earlier

In August 2017, while defending demonetisation, the government had said that close to Rs 3 lakh crore, which was earlier not part of the banking system, had been deposited in banks.

Of the Rs 15.41 lakh crore worth 500 and 1,000 rupee notes in circulation before November 8, 2016, notes worth Rs 15.31 lakh crore have been returned.

Interestingly, compared with the previous year, there was an increase of 35 per cent in counterfeit notes detected in the denomination of Rs 100, while there was a noticeable increase of 154.3 per cent in counterfeit notes detected in the denomination of Rs 50.

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About Rs 15.21 lakh crore of the demonetised Rs 15.41 lakh crore in circulation have been returned to banks, says RBI.

Demonetisation was supposed to be the tonic that cured the financial system of a range of maladies, the government argued. It was supposed to flush out black money and end corruption. Meanwhile, the country's banks reportedly detected a 480% jump in suspicious transactions post demonetisation.

The RBI has received Rs 15.31 lakh crore of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, or 99.3 per cent of the Rs 15.417 lakh crore worth of notes which were in circulation as on November 8, 2016, when the government announced demonetisation, the central bank said in its annual report for 2017-18 released on Wednesday. The statistics suggest that the demonetisation exercise failed to check black money, which was claimed to be one of the main aims of banning specified notes.

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It took almost two years for RBI to complete the tasks of processing and verifying banned currency notes, its annual report showed. RBI has informed that the Specified Bank Notes Processing has been completed at all centers of the Reserve Bank. But the goal posts kept shifting in the weeks and months since with the government citing several reasons to demonetise high value notes such as to choke terror funding, bribery, increasing tax base and checking counterfeit notes. It is a natural process as the GDP grows, payment system grows, currency grows.

Demonetisation led to long queues outside banks.

"... India's currency to GDP ratio moved up to 10.9 per cent in 2017- 18, returning to being amongst the highest levels of currency usage in peer emerging market economies (EMEs) and advanced economies (AEs) as well". Meanwhile, the central bank may soon come up with varnished notes to increase their lifespan, which would not only reduce replacement requirement but would also save the central bank from security printing expenditure.

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