Rs 12.4 lakh crore of old notes deposited in banks till Dec 10: RBI

Reserve Bank of India Deputy Governor R Gandhi on Tuesday said Rs 12.4 lakh crore of old notes scrapped have been deposited in banks till December 10. The remarks came during an impromptu press meet with news agencies Doordarshan, PTI and ANI.

The deposit mobilisation started on November 10, when the banks opened after demonetization announcement on November 8 night.

RBI Deputy Governor S S Mundra, who was also present in the meeting, said the central bank has suspended its staff in Bengaluru who was arrested on Tuesday on charges of colluding with bank officials in changing notes. The official in question was a junior staff who was visiting bank branches on a supervisory capacity, Mundra said.

The employee was a “junior functionary” of the Reserve Bank and investigating agency reported that “he was recorded to be present in a bank branch where some suspected transaction was happening,” Mundra said.

An investigation is on, Mundra added.

“We have issued elaborate instructions to all the bank management to do central data checking and whenever they find any inconsistency, it should be pursued further through their internal audit mechanism,” Mundra said, adding, RBI supervisors are also carrying out similar exercise on the various data points of banks and “whenever any untoward transactions or action is noticed, due investigation would be done and then due action would be pursued.”

“The Reserve Bank of India is also coordinating and collaborating with various investigative agencies when they flag details of the suspicious transactions are noticed by them,” Mundra said.

Banks have issued Rs 4.61 lakh crore to public since Nov 8-9 through ATMs and bank counters, of which 20.1 billion pieces belong to the small denomination of Rs 10, Rs 20, Rs 50 and Rs 100. The rest, 1.7 billion notes have been issued in the Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 denomination, Gandhi said.

Public are requested to freely use notes they have rather than holding them, said Gandhi. RBI has issued 21.8 billion pieces of banknotes of various denominations since demonetisation, Gandhi added.

Mundra said banking industry has done a good job in the demonetisation drive, but there will always be elements who would engage in unscrupulous activities. The Reserve Bank of Indiaand banks are working with investigative agencies to find out any irregularities, while the Deputy Governor emphasised on the ‘whistleblower’ initiatives of banks and the Reserve Bank to expose any wrongdoing.

Gandhi said the Reserve Bank has been printing “more and more” notes to ease the cash crunch but he did not give update on the figure.

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