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Deposited demonetised notes still being counted: RBI Governor

Deposited demonetised notes still being counted: RBI Governor

He is learnt to have told the panel that the process of counting the junked notes was still on and the central bank has to verify fake notes for which specialised machines are being procured.

Reserve Bank of India Governor Urjit Patel once again refused to give the amount of demonetised notes deposited with banks after Centre's note ban previous year saying they are still being counted.

The RBI governor told the Committee that the total currency in circulation was Rs 15.4 lakh crore as against the Rs 17.7 lakh crore that was in circulation previous year before Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced demonetisation.

According to sources, Mr. Patel faced aggressive questioning from the members of the committee, with Samajwadi Party MP Naresh Agarwal threatening a walkout over what he termed unsatisfactory answers.

After the meeting, Moily said he would submit the Committee's report on "Demonetisation and Transformation towards the digital economy and Banking Sector in India - Challenges and the Way Forward" during the monsoon session of Parliament beginning Monday.

During the more than three-hour long meeting of the Standing Committee on Finance here, the members raised concerns about rising number of transactions in various cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Zcash, litecoin and NEM.

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Along with Patel, RBI Deputy Governor S S Mundra was also present at today's meeting. The prohibitive prices of the counting is also another reason why RBI has not been able to get more machines.

The central bank chief said employees are working "round the clock" except on Sundays.

The committee, had on January 18 questioned Patel about the decision of demonetisation.

Replying to queries from members of the Parliamentary Standing Committee of Finance on demonetisation and its fallout, Patel said counting of cancelled Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes goes on continuously for six days a week.

The remarks came as the panel asked Patel to give details of the value of the Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes which were allowed to be exchanged till December 30, 2016. By June 30 the RBI closes its books, this is followed by an audit process which usually takes two months. It may be recalled that the government had banned currencies worth Rs 15.44 lakh crore, representating nearly 86 percent of the total currency in circulation (in value terms).


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