Tuesday, 18 December, 2018

99.3% of demonetised currency returned to banks: RBI

Government banks are estimated to hold 90% of the total non-performing assets in India’s banking sector Government banks are estimated to hold 90% of the total non-performing assets in India’s banking sector
Kelvin Reese | 30 August, 2018, 09:32

The share of Rs. 500 notes, in terms of value, increased from 22.5% to 42.9% in the same period.

"SBNs (specified banknotes) were received by the Reserve Bank either directly or from bank branches/ post offices through the currency chest mechanism".

These estimates, it has not become clear, were wild guesses: the RBI has indicated that 99.3% of the demonetised currency or roughly Rs 15.31 lakh crore was returned.

This means that just Rs 10,720 crore of the junked currency notes did not return to the banking system. "Almost the entire amount came back, which showed that people were not hoarding money in cash".

Of the Rs 15.41 lakh crore worth 500 and 1,000 rupee notes in circulation before November 8, 2016, notes worth Rs 15.31 lakh crore have been returned. For instance, the SBI's economic research department, headed by chief economist Soumya Kanti Ghosh, predicted that up to Rs 2.5 lakh crore wouldn't come back into the banking system. However, small number of notes are still with law enforcement agencies.

In reply to whether an MoU has been signed with Nepal and Bangladesh on the fate of the demonetised currencies lying in those countries, he said "there are some notes in Nepal in the central bank and in Bangladesh it is even lower".

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Garg said that the major advantage of demonetisation was that new notes have more security features.

"Compared to the previous year, there was an increase of 35 per cent in counterfeit notes detected in the denomination of Rs 100, while there was a noticeable increase of 154.3 per cent in counterfeit notes detected in the denomination of Rs 50", RBI said adding that counterfeit notes detected in the new Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 notes during 2017-18 were 9,892 and 17,929 as against 199 and 638, respectively, during the previous year.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a televised address, had announced the scrapping of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes on 8 November 2016, touting it as an attack on black money, corruption and terror funding.

While The Wire has over the last eighteen months reported and analysed how India's currency-in-circulation (CiC) and currency-to-GDP ratio has not changed drastically after demonetisation, the RBI's annual report provides further proof of how little things have changed.

The share of newly-introduced ₹200 notes in the total value of banknotes in circulation was 2.1 per cent as at end-March 2018.

The annual report, curiously, also provides a glimpse of how attempts at remonetisation over the a year ago focused heavily on supplying the new Rs 500 and Rs 200 currency notes. "125 crore Indians, destroyed the Indian economy, demolished India's global image and brought absolutely no gain to the country", he said.

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