Indians asked to return billions in high-value notes as bank issues recall order | World | News
Indians have been told to hand over billions of banknotes after the country’s reserve bank set a deadline at the end of the month to exchange or deposit the country’s highest denomination notes.
The 2,000 rupee note is still in wide circulation and is said to be worth a total of £2.3billion.
Indians who still have the notes after the deadline must give a reason for doing so in four days.
The Reserve Bank of India announced the move on May 19 and by early September, it was reported that 93 percent of the notes had been returned.
Of those notes that have been returned so far, the majority have been deposited while a fraction have been exchanged for other denominations, according to banking data.
In a shock move, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced in November that all 500 and 1,000 rupee notes would be phased out. The 2,000 rupee notes were introduced soon after to increase the money in circulation.
The decision sparked chaos as people waited in long queues outside banks and ATMS to exchange their 500 and 1,000 rupee notes before the deadline.
Modi defended the move as a measure to combat money earned from the black market.
The reserve bank of India has looked to avoid similar panic scenes by maintaining legal tender status of 2,000 rupees beyond the deadline.
This means that although Indians are encouraged to deposit or exchange the 2,000 Rupee notes, they can still be used for purchases past the date.
The Governor of the Bank issued an appeal to Indians not to rush the banks as the needed new notes were available.
Shaktikanta Das also maintained that the removal of the notes would have little effect on the country’s economy.