The Reserve Bank of India has stopped printing Rs 2,000 currency notes, The New Indian Express reported on Monday citing a Right To Information response. The Bharatiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran has not printed a single Rs 2,000 note this financial year.
As many as 3,542.991 million notes of Rs 2,000 were printed during the 2016-’17 financial year, the RBI said. However, next year it came down substantially to 111.507 million notes. In 2018-’19, the bank printed 46.690 million notes. Till March 2018, there were 3,363 million notes of Rs 2,000 in circulation, which is 3.3% of the total currency. By 2019, this fell to 3,291 million.
“The printing of 2,000 rupee notes has been substantially reduced,” an unidentified RBI official had said earlier this year. “It has been decided to limit the printing of 2,000 currency notes to minimum. This is nothing new.”
The move to print fewer Rs 2,000 notes is seen as an attempt to prevent hoarding of the high-value currency and curb black money, said experts. “Possibly, removing high-value notes from circulation makes it difficult to have too many black money transactions,” economist Nitin Desai told The New Indian Express. “But, it’s a better policy than demonetisation, which was very disruptive.”
In January, unaccounted cash of Rs 6 crore in Rs 2,000 notes was seized from the Andhra Pradesh-Tamil Nadu border. Over Rs 50 crore in fake currency notes have been seized in the past three years, the government had informed the Lok Sabha in June. In August, the RBI had said in its annual report that a huge increase in fake Rs 2,000 currency notes was detected in the banking system in the 2017-’18 financial year. The central bank said 17,929 fake Rs 2,000 notes were detected in 2017-’18 while only 638 fake notes of the same denomination had been detected the year before.
The Rs 2,000 notes were introduced in November 2016, soon after the Narendra Modi government decided to withdraw Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes in an attempt to curb black money and fake currencies.
The RBI’s reply came at a time when the National Investigation Agency has said that “high quality” fake currency notes have resurfaced, reported The Hindu. NIA Inspector General Alok Mittal shared a presentation on Monday where he accused Pakistan of being the main source of printing of high quality fake Indian currency notes. Bangladesh, on the other hand, has emerged as the source of low quality fake notes, Mittal added.