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94% of demonetised currency back in banks

By Arup Roychowdhury
January 05, 2017 05:31 IST
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Rs 14.5 lakh crore of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes have been deposited as of 30/12.
Arup Roychoudhury reports.

A scene at a Mumbai bank, December 13, 2016. Photograph: Arun Patil

The Reserve Bank of India has likely received Rs 14.5 lakh crore of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes as on December 30.

This is around 94% of the Rs 15.44 lakh crore put out of circulation on November 8.

Any eventual one-time windfall gain accrued to the central bank will be closer to Rs 90,000 crore as on date, much less than the RBI and the Centre's initial estimates of as much as Rs 3 lakh crore.

December 30 was the last date for depositing old notes in banks.

These are initial estimates contingent upon two factors.

First, Indians who were abroad between November 9 and December 30, and Indian citizens settled abroad have time to deposit the banned notes till March 31 and June 30, respectively.

Second, with the government having raised the issue of 'double counting', the central bank will have to recheck data.

On November 8, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's announcement had, in one fell swoop, demonetised Rs 15.4 lakh crore worth of notes.

The RBI states that as on December 10, Rs 12.44 lakh crore in old notes has been deposited/exchanged.

Central officials have stated the figures are being collated and will be made public when the RBI is ready.

On Wednesday, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was vague when asked on the same at a press briefing after the goods and services tax council meeting.

Last month, Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das had said the finance ministry feels there may have been cases of double counting in the RBI's figures announced on December 10.

'We have requested the RBI and banks to double check. A process of correction, checking, counter-checking and due diligence is being done to see there is no double counting,' Das had said.

IMAGE: A scene at a Mumbai bank, December 13, 2016. Photograph: Arun Patil

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Arup Roychowdhury
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