$954 Million in Withdrawn ₹2000 Notes Still Circulating: RBI

Unreturned ₹2000 Notes in the Economy

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) recently announced that ₹7,961 crore, equivalent to about $954 million, worth of ₹2000 banknotes are still in circulation. These notes have not been returned or deposited despite their withdrawal from active use. This unreturned amount represents 2.24% of the total ₹3.56 lakh crore, approximately $42.6 billion, worth of ₹2000 notes that were in circulation when the withdrawal was announced on May 19, 2023.

Withdrawal Announcement

The RBI initially set September 30, 2023, as the deadline for the public and private entities to exchange or deposit the ₹2000 notes. This was part of a strategic move to phase out the high-value currency. Recognizing the need for more time, the RBI extended the deadline to October 7, 2023. Despite this extension, a significant amount of these notes has yet to be returned to the banking system. This highlights the challenge in reclaiming all the withdrawn currency.

Historical Context of the ₹2000 Note

The ₹2000 denomination was introduced in November 2016 following the demonetisation of ₹1000 and ₹500 notes. The move aimed to quickly address the cash shortage in the economy. However, with a sufficient supply of lower denominations, the printing of ₹2000 notes was halted in 2018-19.

Legal Status and Public Use

The RBI has confirmed that the ₹2000 notes will continue to be legal tender. This means that the public can still use these notes for all types of transactions without any restrictions. The central bank, however, encouraged the public to deposit or exchange these notes by the extended deadline.

Exchange and Deposit Options

To facilitate the exchange, individuals could approach any of the 19 RBI offices across the country to exchange ₹2000 notes or deposit them into their bank accounts. Additionally, the RBI provided an option to send these notes through India Post for credit to bank accounts, offering a convenient solution for those unable to visit a bank.

RBI’s Clean Note Policy

The withdrawal of ₹2000 notes is part of the RBI’s “Clean Note Policy,” which aims to ensure that only good quality banknotes are in circulation. This policy is designed to maintain the overall integrity and reliability of the Indian currency system.

Future Implications

The retention of a significant portion of ₹2000 notes in circulation indicates that more public awareness and engagement may be needed. The RBI’s actions are crucial for maintaining a high-quality and trustworthy currency system that supports smooth financial transactions for all. The RBI continues to monitor the situation closely, ensuring that the goals of its Clean Note Policy are achieved while maintaining public trust in the nation’s currency.

(With inputs from agencies)

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