Cash in circulation now greater than before demonetisation, says report

A Business Standard Report dated March 20, based on RBI data, said total currency in circulation is now greater than on November 8, 2016, when PM Modi announced withdrawal of ₹500 and ₹1,000 notes

Cash in circulation now greater than before demonetisation, says report

NH Web Desk

A Business Standard report dated March 20, 2018 has analysed the total cash in circulation based on Reserve Bank of India dats, and found that the total currency in circulation today is greater than on November 8, 2016, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced withdrawal of high denomination ₹500 and ₹1,000 notes.

The shock move at the time led to the immediate withdrawal of ₹500 and ₹1,000 notes worth ₹14.48 trillion—or 86%—of the currency in circulation at the time. In the longer term, anecdotal and factual evidence showed a depressed demand for goods and services as people ran out of cash, with a cascading effect on the informal economy, which largely works on cash basis.

The report said that on March 9, 2018 “the currency in circulation stood at Rs 18.13 trillion – higher than Rs 17.97 trillion on November 8, [2016]”.

The report has also quoted RBI data to show that use of debit and credit cards at Point of Sale machines has dropped between October 2017 and February 2018 by approx ₹65 billion. It concludes by saying that, regardless of the Modi government’s defence of demonetisation as a push towards digital payments and cashless economy, “cash is back, and with a vengeance.”

The report, however, notes that payments through the digital United Payment Interface or UPI has been steadily growing.

There was wide outrage on August 28, 2017, when the RBI’s Annual Report admitted that only about 1% of demonetised currency failed to return to the banks, calling the bluff on the Government’s claim that the note ban wiped out a large volume of black money from the economy.

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