RBI Spent Nearly Rs 18,000 Crore On Printing Rs 2,000 Notes Since 2016

Stock of banknotes in other denominations continues to be adequate to meet the public's currency requirements, says minister.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>The backside of a 2,000-rupee note (Source: BQ Prime)</p></div>
The backside of a 2,000-rupee note (Source: BQ Prime)

The Reserve Bank of India has incurred a cost of Rs 17,688 crore for printing banknotes of Rs 2,000 denominations since its introduction in 2016, Union Minister of State for Finance, Pankaj Chaudhary, said on Monday.

The central bank had issued Rs 2,000 banknotes in November 2016 after the government demonetised the Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes.

Around 89% of the Rs 2,000 denomination notes were issued prior to March 2017 and are close to the end of their useful life, which spans four–five years, said Chaudhary in a written response to a question in the Lok Sabha. "The stock of banknotes in other denominations continues to be adequate to meet the currency requirements of the public."

Public sector banks spent about Rs 32 crore to recalibrate ATMs for Rs 2,000 currency notes. The State Bank of India spent approximately Rs 12.8 crore on the recalibration of ATMs, according to Chaudhary.

From fiscals 2017–19, the total value of Rs 2,000 notes in circulation stood at Rs 7.4 lakh crore, according to the RBI. The RBI did not print any new Rs 2,000 denomination currency notes in the following years.

On May 19, the central bank announced the withdrawal of these notes from circulation under the Clean Note policy, and instructed citizens to deposit or exchange Rs 2,000 notes at bank branches until Sept. 30. However, the deadline was later extended by a week to Oct. 7.

The total value of the highest-denomination currency notes in circulation stood at Rs 3.56 lakh crore, compared with Rs 9,760 crore as of Nov. 30, according to the RBI.

The returned banknotes "are being processed in (the) RBI as per the laid-down procedure for disposal', Chaudhary said.

The RBI has emphasised that the Rs 2,000 banknote continues to remain a legal tender. From May 19, depositors could exchange Rs 2,000 banknotes for only up to Rs 20,000 at one time at the RBI's 19 issue offices as well. Following the Oct. 7 deadline, depositors can continue exchanging the currency notes at the RBI's issue offices as well as send the bills through India Post.

BQ Prime had reported last week that several people had been making a beeline outside the RBI headquarters to exchange the banknotes for nearly two months.

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