Political parties were quick to corner the BJP-led Narendra Modi government that demonetised high-value currency notes to curb black money. For instance, parts of the Rs 10,000 crore could lie with money seized by law enforcement, cash still being held with district cooperative banks and in bank notes being held by citizens of Nepal and Bhutan.
"I think demonetisation achieved its objective quite substantially", Garg said, declining to elaborate.
While overall detection of counterfeit notes was 31.4% lower than the previous year, this was because of a decrease in fake Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, which were of course banned in November 2016. Indian economy lost 1.5 per cent of GDP in terms of growth. On November 8, 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that all Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes, comprising 86% of the total value of the currency in circulation at that time, would no longer be recognised as legal tender. Experts say, that having a large number of Rs 2000 notes in circulation would have defeated the goal of demonetisation, which was to stop circulation of black money. The government predicted that Rs 3 lakh crore in currency would not return to the banks.
The RBI has received Rs 15.31 lakh crore of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, or 99.3 per cent of the Rs 15.417 lakh crore worth of notes which were in circulation as on November 8, 2016, when the government announced demonetisation, the central bank said in its annual report for 2017-18 released on Wednesday. Verification and process of the SBNs has been completed.
Criticising the demonetisation exercise, former Finance Minister P Chidambaram said: "Every rupee of the Rs 15.42 lakh crore has come back to the RBI. That alone was a loss of Rs 2.25 lakh crore a year". Currency notes of higher value are easier to hoard, and can be used to proliferate black money. "My first question now is - where has the black money gone?" she remarked.
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The total SBNs returned from circulation is 15310.73 Billion.
The government replaced old Rs 500 notes with new ones, but no replacement for Rs 1,000 notes have been made.
RBI says an amount of Rs 10,720 crore, representing the value of specified banknotes has not been paid on June 30, 2018, which is nowhere near the cost of the implementation and not worthy of the hardships faced by the people.
In new series of banknotes in the denominations of Rs 500 and Rs 2000, counterfeit notes detected during 2017-18 were 9,892 and 17,929 against 199 and 638, respectively, during the previous year.