Nearly year on, RBI still verifying demonetised money

RSTV Bureau
File photo of scrapped  Rs 1000 currency note. It was stopped from circulation after government's move to demonetise currency on Nov 8, 2016. Photo - PTI

File photo of scrapped Rs 1000 currency note.
It was stopped from circulation after government’s move to demonetise currency on Nov 8, 2016.
Photo – PTI

Nearly a year after the government’s demonetisation move which banned the then higher denomination currency notes of Rs 1000 and Rs 500, the returned notes are still being verified, the Reserve Bank of India has said.

The central bank, in a RTI reply, said it has processed about 1,134 crore pieces of Rs 500 notes and 524.90 crore pieces of Rs 1,000 junked notes, having face value of Rs 5.67 lakh crore and Rs 5.24 lakh crore respectively, as on September 30.

The combined value of the processed notes is Rs 10.91 lakh crore approximately, according to the reply.

“Specified Bank Notes are being processed in all earnest in double shift on all available machines (sophisticated counting machines),” the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said in reply to the RTI query filed by a PTI correspondent.

On the query of any deadline being set to complete the counting exercise, it said, “The verification of notes withdrawn from the circulation is an ongoing process”.

The RBI said at least 66 Sophisticated Currency Verification and Processing (CVPS) machines were being used for counting of junked Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes that were deposited with various banks post demonetisation.

File photo of scrapped  Rs 500 currency note. It was stopped from circulation after government's move to demonetise currency on Nov 8, 2016. Photo - PTI

File photo of scrapped Rs 500 currency note.
It was stopped from circulation after government’s move to demonetise currency on Nov 8, 2016.
Photo – PTI

Prime Minister Modi in a surprise announcement on November 8 last year had banned the use of old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. General public and other holders were allowed to deposit them with banks or use them at certain notified utilities.

Several opposition parties including the Congress and Mamata Banerjee’s TMC have announced that they would observe November 8, the first anniversary of demonetisation, as ‘Black Day’ and would hold protests across the country to highlight its “ill-effects” on the economy.

To counter the opposition protest, the ruling BJP has decided to observe the note ban anniversary as “anti- blackmoney day”.

In its annual report for 2016-17 released on August 30, the RBI had said Rs 15.28 lakh crore, or 99 per cent of the demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, have returned to the banking system.

In the annual report, which was for the year ended June 30, 2017, the central bank said only Rs 16,050 crore out of the Rs 15.44 lakh crore in old high-denomination notes have not returned.

As on November 8, 2016, there were 1,716.5 crore pieces of Rs 500 and 685.8 crore pieces of Rs 1,000 notes in circulation, totalling Rs 15.44 lakh crore, it had said.

While the counterfeit currency notes made for a minuscule number, RBI post-demonetisation spent Rs 7,965 crore on printing new Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 bills and notes of other denominations, more than double the Rs 3,421 crore spent in the previous year, it said.

(With inputs from PTI)