The Reserve Bank of India on Friday said that the Rs 2,000 denomination currency notes worth Rs 9,760 crore have not been deposited or exchanged and will remain legal tender.

On May 19, the central bank had announced that it is withdrawing the Rs 2,000 notes from circulation and set September 30 as the deadline to exchange them at banks across the country. The deadline was later extended to October 7.

“The total value of Rs 2,000 banknotes in circulation, which amounted to Rs 3.56 lakh crore as at the close of business on May 19, 2023...has declined to Rs 9,760 crore as at the close of business on November 30, 2023,” the Reserve Bank said in a statement. “Thus, 97.26% of the Rs 2,000 banknotes in circulation as on May 19, 2023, has since been returned.”

Various banks stopped exchanging Rs 2,000 notes on October 7, but the facility remained available at the Reserve Bank’s 19 Issue Offices across the country. These are centres where the public can exchange old, soiled and mutilated notes and coins. They centres are located in major cities including Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Mumbai and New Delhi.

The Reserve Bank’s statement on Friday added, “From October 9, 2023, RBI Issue Offices, in addition to exchanging Rs 2,000 denomination banknotes...are also accepting Rs 2,000 banknotes from individuals/entities for deposit to their bank accounts.”

Indians living and holding bank accounts in the country can continue to send Rs 2,000 notes through any post office in the country, to the Reserve Bank’s Issue Offices. The money will then be credited to their bank accounts.

The Rs 2,000 banknotes were issued after the Centre’s decision in November 2016 to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes. They were abruptly withdrawn from circulation in what the government claimed was a move to fight corruption.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.