‘Figure on old notes deposits should be verified one’ (Lead)

New Delhi: Hinting that it could be a long wait for people to know the amount of old currency notes that were deposited post-demonetisation, RBI Governor Urjit Patel on Saturday said the figure should be a “verified” one and not just an estimate.

“The number that we should now divulge should be verified one and congruent with the complex accounting. There are tens of thousands of bank branches and 4,000 currency chests,” Patel said here post the Reserve Bank of India Board’s meeting with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

“Given that the window is open till March 31 and June 30 at lower level, we need to be careful and try that this is a number which is not a mere estimate but a verified number both physically and in the accounting sense,” Patel added when asked about the estimated amount of old currency notes that have come back.

Resident Indian citizens who were abroad during November 9 to December 30, 2016, can avail the facility of exchange of demonetised currency up to March 31, 2017, and non-resident Indian citizens can avail this facility up to June 30, 2017.

The RBI had earlier said that notes worth Rs 12.44 lakh crore have been deposited till December 10, 2016.

There were 17,165 million pieces of Rs 500 notes and 6,858 million pieces of Rs 1,000 notes in circulation on November 8, 2016, the day Prime Minister Narendra Modi made the announcement of demonetising the two high denomination notes.

The total amount of high denomination currency circulating in the system on that day was, thus, Rs 15.44 lakh crore (Rs 8.58 lakh crore in Rs 500 notes and Rs 6.86 lakh crore in Rs 1,000).

Jaitley said the meeting with the RBI was to discuss the various Budget suggestions and the current economic situation.

When asked about RBI not going for a rate cut in its latest monetary policy review on February 8, he said: “All Finance Ministers have the perpetual desire, but at the end we all respect the decision that the RBI takes.”