On August 1, the Reserve Bank of India – RBI said that Rs 3.14 lakh crore in the form of 2,000 Rs banknotes, which were in circulation have been returned to the banking system as on 31 July 2023. This consists of 88% of Rs 2000 notes that were in circulation.
Out of the total banknotes received back from circulation, 87% is in the form of deposits to the bank while the remaining 13% has been exchanged in the form of other denominations, said the release from RBI. The central bank has asked the common public to use the left-over time period to exchange or deposit Rs 2,000 notes. In May 2023, the RBI announced for withdrawal of Rs 2,000 currency bills from circulation after it was introduced in 2017.
The move was taken as an initiative for the Clean Note Policy of the Reserve Bank of India. The central bank also said that the withdrawal move was also in the view that the high-denomination notes were not in high use and could possibly cause collateral problems.
For the unaware, in 2017, the Reserve Bank of India launched a new design of banknotes in the denomination of Rs 2,000 as a part of the Mahatma Gandhi (New) Series. The notes had the motif of Mangalyaan on the reverse, which shows India’s first venture into interplanetary space. The magenta base colored notes have other designs, and geometric patterns that aligned with the overall color scheme, both on the obverse and reverse. The size of the Rs 2000 notes is 66mm x 166mm.
The last date to exchange, and deposit Rs 2000 banknotes is 30 September 2023 as per the Reserve Bank of India. There was a lot of hot debate among different political parties and leaders in May 2023 when the RBI announced this withdrawal move.
Many leaders supported the government’s decision to eradicate black money from India but several opposition leaders also criticized the sudden move to ban the newly launched currency bills of Rs. 2,000/-
During May end and June 2023, many public sector and private sector banks witnessed long queues outside their banks to collect the banknotes wherein some banks also asked the depositor to share their personal details like mobile number and name, while some asked for Aadhaar proof.
There was a lot of stress among the common public who don’t deal with depositing their money in banks but instead stock safely in their homes. Such sudden decisions by the government actually waste a lot of time and effort of the common public at times of inflation and rising unemployment. Although this time the withdrawal of Rs 2000 banknotes has a lot of time period in the form of 3 months, people still recollect their trauma when Rs 500 and Rs 1000 banknotes were banned in India in 2016. That was an abrupt decision though which had created quite a stir not only in national media but also covered widely by foreign media.