RBI says will release data on demonetised cash deposits at the earliest


Mumbai: In a bid to put to rest speculation on the quantum of scrapped notes deposited in banks and post offices, the RBI on Thursday said it is reconciling invalid currency with physical cash balance and will release the numbers at the earliest.

The Reserve Bank’s clarification on the Specified Bank Notes (old Rs 500 and Rs1,000) comes in the backdrop of various reports estimating that over 95% of the defunct notes have been returned till 30 December, the last date for depositing the old high denomination currency.

“There had been various estimates on SBNs tendered in certain sections. We would like to clarify that the periodical SBN figures released by us were based on aggregation of accounting entries done at the large number of Currency Chests all over the country,” the RBI said.

Now that the demonetisation scheme has come to an end on 30 December, the RBI said the figures would need to be reconciled with the physical cash balances to eliminate accounting errors/ possible double counts.

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“The RBI has already initiated this process and till this is completed any estimate may not indicate the actual numbers of the SBNs that have been returned. “RBI is taking all steps to complete the process expeditiously so as to release firm figures of SBNs received at an early date,” the central bank clarified.

On the last day of demonetisation, the RBI had asked all banks including cooperatives to report details of deposits of old Rs500 and Rs1,000 notes to it after the close of banking hours.

The finance ministry had said that there were lots of areas where double counting could have happened.

The government on 9 November demonetised old Rs500 and Rs1,000 notes worth Rs15.44 lakh crore, 86% of the total currency in circulation. The Reserve Bank is believed to have received deposits close to Rs15 lakh crore during the 50-day demonetisation exercise that ended on 30 December.