WorldMoney & Business

Indians Have Just a Few Days To Return Billions in Banknotes

India’s highest-value banknote will soon be out of business: the 2,000-rupee currency notes are going to be withdrawn in five days, but $2.9 billion worth of them is still in circulation. 

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) ordered the withdrawal of the note on 19 May, giving people until the end of September to exchange or deposit them with banks. After that, people will have to explain why they couldn’t meet the deadline.

Following the announcement, 93% of the notes, worth 3.32 trillion rupees ($40.14 billion, or €37.7 billion), have found their way back by 1 September. 

However, 7% of the notes, worth 240 billion rupees, are still in people’s pockets. 

Data collected from major banks indicates that about 87% of the banknotes received by lenders were in the form of deposits, while around 13% were exchanged for other denominations, the RBI said.

The 2,000-rupee notes were introduced in 2016 to replenish the Indian economy’s currency in circulation after the government’s shock move in 2016 to demonetise the economy by scrapping high-value banknotes overnight.

However, the central bank has frequently said that it wants to reduce high-value notes in circulation and had stopped printing 2,000-rupee notes over the past four years.


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