The Reserve Bank of India has declined a Right To Information request to know the cost of shredding the currency notes that were returned to banks after being demonetised in 2016, PTI reported on Tuesday. The central bank told the RTI applicant that the information was unavailable and providing it would “disproportionately divert its resources”.
Thursday marks the second anniversary of the Centre’s decision to demonetise notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000, claiming that it would put an end to the flow of black money, fake currency and corruption in the country. However, after several claims that the returned notes were still being counted, the Reserve Bank of India said in August that the process was complete – and over 99.3% of the banned banknotes in circulation before demonetisation had been returned to the banking system.
In its RTI reply to Chandrashekhar Gaud on October 29, the RBI reiterated that notes worth Rs 10,720 crore – out of Rs 15,41,793 crore that were in circulation before the decision – had not returned to the banks yet.
In September 2017, the RBI said it was using the sophisticated Currency Verification and Processing machines to “verify the numerical accuracy and genuineness” of the returned Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. In March this year, the RBI said demonetised notes that have been counted and checked for genuineness are shredded and briquetted – compressed into bricks – and then discarded through a tendering process.