In a surprising turn of events, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has disclosed that a staggering Rs 9,760 crore worth of Rs 2,000 notes are still in the hands of the public despite the deadline for currency exchange passing in October. This revelation comes after the RBI’s announcement on May 19, declaring the withdrawal of the Rs 2,000 denomination bank notes, which were initially introduced in November 2016 following the demonetization of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes.
The Numbers Game
According to the RBI’s recent statement, approximately 97.26% of the Rs 2,000 banknotes have returned to the banking system. The total value of these high-denomination notes in circulation stood at a whopping Rs 3.56 lakh crore on May 19, 2023, when the withdrawal was declared. Fast forward to November 30, 2023; this value has dwindled significantly to Rs 9,760 crore.
Legal Tender Limbo
Despite the withdrawal announcement, the Rs 2,000 notes continue to hold their status as legal tender. Individuals still clutching onto these notes can either deposit. Or exchange them at any of the 19 RBI offices spread across the country. Additionally, an interesting avenue for those unable to visit the RBI offices is to send the notes through India Post from any post office to one of the RBI Issue Offices, where the equivalent sum will be credited to their bank accounts.
Extended Deadlines And Ongoing Drama
Initially, the public and entities holding these notes were given until September 30 to either exchange or deposit them. However, the deadline was later extended to October 7. Both deposit and exchange services at bank branches were discontinued on October 7. Thus ushering in a new phase starting October 8. Individuals were then provided with the choice of either exchanging the currency. Or they had the equivalent sum credited to their bank accounts at the 19 designated RBI offices.
Queues At RBI Offices
Notably, queues have become common during working hours at the 19 RBI offices across cities like Mumbai, New Delhi, and Chennai. People eagerly await their turn to exchange or deposit the lingering Rs 2,000 notes. These RBI offices are strategically placed in cities such as Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, and Kolkata. Thus, they have become hubs of activity as individuals seek to reconcile their currency holdings with the RBI’s directives.
The Aftermath Of Demonetization
The Rs 2,000 notes were introduced as part of a bold move after the demonetization exercise that aimed to curb black money and counterfeit currency. However, the decision to withdraw them has stirred the financial landscape, leading to a prolonged and somewhat unexpected aftermath as the saga of the Rs 2,000 notes continues. Thus, the RBI is the central player in orchestrating the currency’s exit from circulation. The ongoing queues at RBI offices are a visual reminder of the currency’s journey from prominence to the precipice of withdrawal. The question remains: how much longer will these notes linger in the hands of the public before they become a relic of the past? In the realm of currency dramas, the story of the Rs 2,000 notes unfolds. Therefore, it leaves the public and financial enthusiasts captivated by the twists and turns of this unexpected narrative.