New Delhi: The government on Wednesday said demonetisation of high-value currency notes in November 2016 achieved the objectives "quite substantially", even as the RBI report outlined that 99.3 per cent of junked notes came back to banks.
Talking to reporters, economic affairs secretary SC Garg said objectives of the note ban, like checking black money, terror financing, promoting digital transaction and weeding out fake currency notes have been achieved.
“I think demonetisation has achieved its objective quite substantially," he said in reply to a question in this regard. The secretary also stressed that now there was no shortage of currency in any part of the country.
According to the RBI's annual report released on Wednesday, as much as 99.3 per cent of the junked Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes have returned to the banking system.
The Congress demanded an apology from PM Modi for allegedly lying to the country and said India had to pay a "huge price" for demonetising a bulk of currency.
Former finance minister P Chidambaram said more than 100 lives were lost and lakhs of jobs were destroyed due to closure of businesses after demonetisation. The Indian economy lost 1.5 per cent of GDP growth that accounted for a loss of Rs 2.25 lakh crore a year, he said.
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the prime minister in his 2017 Independence Day speech had claimed that more than Rs 3 lakh crore unaccounted money will come back to the system.
"Modiji, will you apologise for that lie now?" Surjewala asked. "(The) RBI report again proves that demonetisation was 'Modi-made disaster' of epic proportions. 99.30 pc of demonetised money returns," he added.
On November 8, 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the demonetisation of high-value currency notes.
Of the Rs 15.41 lakh crore worth Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes in circulation on November 8, 2016, when the note ban was announced, notes worth Rs 15.31 lakh crore have been returned. This meant just Rs 10,720 crore of the junked currency did not return to the banking system.