Double counting possible? Govt asks RBI to recheck deposit data for old notes

The government has asked the (RBI) to re-examine the figures for the demonetised amount that has come back into the system. Double counting is possible, said Shaktikanta Das, economic affairs secretary.


He said the Centre expects half the demonetised amount of Rs 15.4 lakh crore to be distributed by banks by end-December but did not say when the withdrawal limits from banks and automated teller machines (ATMs) would be lifted.


Earlier this week, RBI said Rs 12.44 lakh in demonetised notes had come back to the banks.


“In the figures RBI announced, there are a lot of areas where we feel there could be double counting. We have identified those and requested RBI and banks to double-check,” Das told journalists on Thursday.


Queried on the confusion in the media regarding the actual amount demonetised on November 8, Das said Rs 15.4 lakh crore had been put out of circulation. And, half that amount, in new and existing denominations, would have been remonetised by banks to the general public in another two weeks.


He said Rs 5 lakh crore had been disbursed till date, 32.5 per cent of the amount demonetised.


The present withdrawal limit is Rs 24,000 a week for savings accounts and Rs 50,000 a week from current accounts, and Rs 2,500 a day from ATMs. Earlier in the day, a top official said the limits would be eased once 80 per cent of the new currency is disbursed. The easing, said the person, would be gradual, and start with cooperative banks.


This newspaper had reported earlier that while the Modi government had asked for time till late December to mid-January for the ‘pain’ of to ease, the withdrawal limits were likely to stay for much longer.


Das said the finance ministry, RBI and banks were working in tandem to ensure the remonetised money reached people. “I expect that in the next two-three weeks, the situation will considerably ease, with the supply of more new Rs 500 notes,” he said. Printing of these had been stepped up and as its circulation increased, people would be taking out the Rs 2,000 notes they were hoarding.


Das said of 220,000 ATMs, a little more than 200,000 had been recalibrated. “We have advised banks that they should continue to replenish cash in ATMs and not to starve ATMs. We are monitoring it regularly,” he said.


Transactions through RuPay cards have increased from Rs 3.85 lakh to Rs 16 lakh, through unstructured supplementary service data from 97 to 1,263 and through point-of-sale devices from Rs 50.2 lakh to Rs 98.1 lakh. In India only five per cent of personal consumption expenditure was through digital systems till now.


More push for digital in tmes of note-ban pull

Method Nov 8 Dec 7 % change
RuPay* 3.85 16 + 316
E-wallet* 17 63 + 271
UPI 3,721 48,238 + 271
USSD 97 1,263 + 1,202
PoS* 50 98.1 + 95
*in lakhs
UPI: Unified Payments Interface
USSD: Unstructured supplementary service data