After several rounds of counting and re-counting, it is now official. More than 99% of the Rs500 and Rs1,000 currency notes that were withdrawn from circulation on the midnight of 8 November 2016 were returned, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has admitted.
According to the Annual Report released by the central bank on Wednesday, after verification and reconciliation, total value of Rs500 and Rs1,000 currency notes returned from circulation is Rs15,310.73 lakh crore compared with Rs15,417.93 lakh crore, a day before note ban came into effect on 8 November 2016.
The demonetisation was hailed as a step that would curb black money, corruption and check counterfeit currency, but RBI said, “Compared to the previous year, there was an increase of 35% in counterfeit notes detected in the denomination of Rs100, while there was a noticeable increase of one and a half times in counterfeit notes detected in the denomination of Rs50.”
During 2017-18, counterfeit notes detected in the new Rs500 and Rs2000 currency notes were 9,892 and 17,929, against 199 and 638, respectively, detected during previous year, the central bank said.
With more Rs500 notes pumped into the system over the last one year, the share of Rs2,000 notes by value, declined to 37.3% as on March 2018 compared to 50.2% a year ago. The share of Rs500 note, in terms of value, increased from 22.5% to 42.9% during the same period.
“In value terms, the share of Rs500 and Rs2,000 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 share of newly introduced Rs200 banknotes in the total value of banknotes in circulation was 2.1% as at end-March 2018,” the report said.
According to the RBI data, at end-March 2018, the value of banknotes in circulation increased by 37.7% over the year to Rs18,037 lakh crore.
After the demonetisation, the Reserve Bank spent about Rs7,965 crore in 2016-17 on printing new currency notes of Rs500 and Rs2,000 and other denomination notes. This was more than double the Rs3,421 crore, the central bank had spent during previous year.
During 2017-18, RBI says, 5.23 lakh pieces of counterfeit notes were detected in the banking system, of which 63.9% were detected by banks other than the RBI.
In 2017-18 (July 2017 to June 2018), RBI spent another Rs4,912 crore on printing of currency, the report said.
During the demonetisation period (9th November to 3 December 2016), Indian citizens, who were abroad were allowed deposit SBNs in any of the five offices of RBI. This grace period was available till 31 March 2017 for Indian citizens and till 30 June 2017 for non-resident Indian citizens. “Under this scheme, around 77,000 tenders were received, of which around 68% were found to be eligible for payment,” RBI says.