Estimates of demonetised notes back with banks may be incorrect’: RBI

Courtesy: IANS | The Statesman, dated January 5, 2017

Reacting to media reports about the quantum of demonetised currency that has been returned to the banks by the December 30 deadline, the Reserve Bank of India on Thursday said such estimates may not be correct. The RBI said the aggregating of accounting entries made at the various currency chests still requires to be reconciled with the actual cash balances in order to eliminate accounting errors and double counting.

“The periodical SBN (specified bank notes) figures released by us were based on aggregation of accounting entries done at the large number of currency chests all over the country,” an RBI said in a statement (Mumbai).”Now that the scheme has come to an end on December 30, 2016, these figures would need to be reconciled with the physical cash balances to eliminate accounting errors/possible double counts etc. Till this is completed, any estimate may not indicate the actual numbers of the SBNs that have been returned,” it said.

The RBI is taking all steps to complete the process expeditiously so as to release firm figures of SBNs received at an early date.
On November 8, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that Rs.1,000 and Rs.500 currency notes were no longer a legal tender, saying the move was aimed at eliminating black money, counterfeit currency and terror financing. Citizens were given up to Decmber 30 to deposit the old currency in banks.

Media reports on Wednesday, citing sources, said that about 97 percent of the demonetised currency notes worth Rs.14.97 lakh crore have been deposited back as on December 30. The government had earlier estimated that about Rs.15.4 lakh crore was to be taken out of the system by way of demonetisation.

Under fire for the slow pace of re-monetisation and the on-going cash crunch, the government has announced various concessions to promote digital transactions and has been urging the public to move towards an economy that transacts less in cash.