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RBI is Still Counting Demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 Notes: Urjit Patel

The RBI governor whoever informed the panel headed by Congress leader Veerappa Moily that more than 15 lac crore of currency of the 17 odd crores demonetised is back in circulation.


Updated:July 13, 2017, 7:38 AM IST
RBI is Still Counting Demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 Notes: Urjit Patel
File photo of RBI Governor Urjit Patel. (Image: PTI)

New Delhi: RBI is still counting the old denotified notes banned by the government in November last year. RBI governor Urjit Patel told this to a parliamentary panel on Wednesday in Delhi.

Patel was appearing before the Finance Standing Committee of Parliament. Opposition members who posed some difficult questions to the RBI chief were not satisfied with the answer. A member wondered if the counting would get over “before May 2019” when the term of the Narendra Modi government ends.

The RBI governor informed the panel headed by Congress leader Veerappa Moily that more than 15 lakh crore of currency of the 17-odd crores demonetised is back in circulation.

Moily said the Committee will present its report on demonetisation in the Monsoon Session of Parliament and that the RBI governor will not be called again on the note ban issue. The session is scheduled to start on July 17 and is expected to conclude on August 11.

“We had a lengthy discussion (on demonetisation and various other issues)... The panel will not be calling RBI Governor again on the issue of demonetisation," Moily told PTI on Wednesday.

Patel appeared before the panel for the second time on Wednesday after cancellation of old Rs 500 and 1,000 currency notes on November 8 -- a government decision which had attracted a lot of criticism from the Opposition.

In January too, the RBI governor had appeared before the committee and had told the members that he would submit a statement on the amount of money that came back into the system after demonetisation.

Along with Patel, RBI Deputy Governor S S Mundra was also present at Wednesday's meeting.

After the meeting, a senior member, who did not want to be named, said the governor did not provide any figure but gave details on remonetisation.

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who was present at the meeting, did not ask any question to the governor, according to three panel members.

Interestingly, it was Singh who had rescued Patel from a tough grillnig during the January meeting when he intervened to say that the central bank and the governor's position as an institution should be respected.

Replying to queries from the members on demonetisation and its fallout, Patel said counting of banned old Rs 500 and 1,000 currency notes goes on continuously for six days in a week.

Patel told the panel that the RBI has cut down on holidays to complete counting of the junked currency note and that its staff is working "round the clock" except on Sundays, a member quoted Patel as having said.

According to some members, the central bank chief informed the panel that besides Saturdays, many other holidays have also been suspended in order to complete counting of the scrapped notes.

The RBI has also issued tenders for new machines for counting of the notes, the meeting was told. RBI has a staff strength of 15,000.

During the course of the meeting, one Congress member even asked whether RBI would be able to provide details of amount of cash deposited post-demonetisation by May 2019--the time when the NDA government completes its five-year term.

| Edited by: Swati Sharma
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