94% of demonetised notes deposited in banks

The Reserve Bank of India has likely received back Rs 14.5 lakh crore of the old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes as of December 30, Business Standard has learnt. This is about 94 per cent of the Rs 15.44 lakh crore put out of circulation on November 8.

This means that any eventual one-time windfall gain accrued to the central bank will be closer to Rs 90,000 crore as of now, much less than RBI and the Modi government’s initial estimates of as much as Rs 3 lakh crore. December 30 was the last date of depositing old notes in banks.

Sources say that these initial estimates are contingent upon two factors. First is that 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 is that since the government has raised the issue of ‘double counting’ with the RBI, the central bank will re-check the data.

However, the sense in the government is that the amount coming in from Indians abroad or those were travelling outside the country should not cause a huge change India business news to the amount already come in.

On November 8, Prime Minister Modi’s announcement had, in one fell swoop, demonetised Rs 15.4 lakh crore worth of notes. The Reserve Bank of India states that as of December 10, Rs 12.44 lakh crore in old notes has been deposited or exchanged by the public. Not data on deposits have been made after that date.

When asked, government officials have stated repeatedly that the amount is being collated and will be made public when the RBI is ready to do so. Even on Wednesday, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was asked on the matter at a press briefing after the Goods and Service Tax Council meeting. He too declined to give a clear reply.

Last month, Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das had said that the Finance Ministry feels there may have been cases of double counting in the RBI’s figures announced on December 10. “We have requested RBI and banks to again double check. So a process of correction, checking, counter-checking, and due diligence is being done to see there is no double counting,” Das had said.

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