The last date to exchange Rs 2,000 denomination notes has been extended to October 7, the Reserve Bank of India said on Saturday.

In May, the central bank had announced that it was withdrawing Rs 2,000 notes from circulation, saying that evidence showed the denomination was not being commonly used for transactions. It had clarified that the denomination will continue to be legal tender but asked people to exchange them from banks or deposit them in their accounts. It had set September 30 as the deadline.

In its statement on Friday, the central bank said that banks will stop accepting the Rs 2,000 notes from October 8 but the denomination can be exchanged at the 19 Reserve Bank regional offices after the deadline.

“Of the total value of Rs 3.56 lakh crore of Rs 2,000 banknotes in circulation as on May 19, 2023, Rs 3.42 lakh crore has been received back leaving only Rs 0.14 lakh crore in circulation as at the close of business on September 29, 2023; thus, 96% of Rs 2000 banknotes in circulation as on May 19, 2023 has since been returned,” it added.

The Rs 2,000 notes were issued after the November 2016 decision of demonetisation when Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denominations were abruptly withdrawn in what the government claimed was a move to fight corruption. Experts believe that the decision was destructive for the economy as well as large sections of the population, some of which are still reeling from its effects.

In 2019, the central bank had reduced the printing of Rs 2,000 notes to a minimum.