Jaitley: RBI has enough currency notes

RSTV Bureau
Union Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley addressing a press conference in New Delhi on 08 December 2016.

File photo of Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley

On Tuesday, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley again defended the government’s demonetisation move and said that the Reserve Bank of India was fully prepared to deal with currency shortages post demonetisation.

“There was full preparedness. There was not a single day when RBI had not released adequate currency to banks. There was a certain level of currency that was to be released and there was full preparedness for it… Today also RBI has more than adequate stock not only to last them for December 30 but to last them far beyond that,” Jaitley told the media.

When asked about the currency in circulation, Jaitley said the figures will be made public only after accurate calculation after December 30, the last date for depositing the scrapped currency in banks.

Replying to queries on curbs on deposit of old currency notes by RBI, he said that people should deposit the defunct notes in one go as repeat deposits raise doubts.

“Today there are no exemptions… Now there is no further scope of earning old currency so those who have got old currency must go and deposit in one go….Therefore if somebody goes everyday and deposits old currency it raises suspicion. How is he getting everyday? As long as exemptions existed there was scope for getting old currency, but once the exemptions have been lifted if you have old currency go and deposit in one go,” said Jaitley.

With nearly Rs 13 lakh crore, out of the Rs 15.4 lakh crore worth of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes junked, has already been deposited in banks. Thus RBI changed the rule on Monday to mandate that individuals can deposit over Rs 5,000 in old currency bills only once until December 30 and that too after giving an explanation.

Jaitley also spoke about digital payments and said there have been a steady rise in such payments.

“There is significant jump in digital transactions, by over 300 per cent in some cases. Where base was low, it is 1,500 per cent,” said the finance minister.

(With inputs from PTI)