99.3 per cent junk notes have returned to RBI

Of the ₹15.41 lakh crore, denominations of ₹500 and ₹1,000 were in circulation, only ₹10,720 crore of the junked currency did not return to the banking system

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The Reverse Bank of India (RBI) said on Wednesday that as much as 99.3 per cent of the junked ₹500 and ₹1,000 notes have returned to the banking system, indicating that just a miniscule percentage of currency was left out of the system after the government's unprecedented note ban aimed at curbing black money and corruption.

The RBI which has taken an awfully long time to count the currency that was returned in the limited period window provided by the government to exchange or deposit the demonetised currency said in its Annual Report for 2017-18 that the exercise is finally over.

Of the ₹15.41 lakh crore, denominations of ₹500 and ₹1,000 were in circulation on November 8, 2016. However, post the note ban was announced, notes worth ₹15.31 lakh crore were returned. It clearly means that only ₹10,720 crore of the junked currency did not return to the banking system.

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The government replaced old ₹500 notes with new ones, but no replacement for ₹1,000 notes have been made. Instead, new ₹2,000 notes were introduced after the ban.

In 2016-17, post-demonetisation, RBI spent ₹7,965 crore in 2016-17 on printing new ₹500 and ₹2,000 and other denomination notes, more than double the ₹3,421 crore were spent in the previous year. In 2017-18 (July 2017 to June 2018), it spent another ₹4,912 crore on the printing of currency, the annual report said. 

The demonetisation was hailed as a step that would curb black money, corruption and check counterfeit currency. However, RBI said that counterfeit notes detected in SBNs decreased by 59.7 and 59.6 per cent in the denominations of ₹500 and ₹1,000, respectively.

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