Friday, 28 July, 2017

Demonetization: Still counting number of returned notes, says Urjit Patel

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Ben Pena | 13 July, 2017, 12:57

Besides Saturdays, many other holidays have also been suspended in order to complete the mammoth task.

The option to deposit the banned notes with commercial banks ended on December 30 past year.

He, however, is learnt to have told the members that the counting of old currency is still underway and therefore no clear picture has emerged regarding the quantum of currency recovered till the aforementioned date.

Explaining demonetisation to the PAC members, the RBI Governor informed them about the efforts being made to normalise the situation of cash crunch in rural areas.

This was Patel's second deposition before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance.

Patel was deposing before the committee, which is expected give a report on demonetisation during the Monsoon Session of Parliament beginning next week.

Rattan Lal Kataria, a Lok Sabha member from Ambala, clicked the selfie soon after the more-than-three-hour long meeting of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance got over.

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Along with Patel, RBI Deputy Governor S S Mundra was also present at the meeting today. "The governor was not forthcoming with his replies even though the whole nation is waiting to know how much of the black money was unearthed through the exercise", said a member of the committee who attended the meeting.

Patel told the panel that the RBI has cut down on holidays to complete counting of the junked currency note and that its staff is working "round the clock" except on Sundays, a member quoted Patel as having said.

The RBI has also issued tenders for new machines for counting of the notes, the meeting was told. In other words, it took 32 days for the RBI to compute the figure of Rs 12.44 lakh crore or about 81 percent of the total amount of currency demonetised.

He said that counting of the demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1000 goes on for six days a week every week.

The biggest question that he could answer is this: how many banned notes have been returned to the banking system.

Another reason given for the delay was the window given to the central bank to accept the junked notes collected by District Central Cooperative Banks (DCCBs) as well as pending issues with Nepal where Indian currency is used widely, sources said. Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was among those present.

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