Curb on black money: Rs 2,000 notes not printed in last 2 years


New Delhi: The government has cleared suspense overprinting of Rs 2,000 currency notes, stating that the highest denomination currency note has not been printed in the last two years even. In a written reply to the Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Finance Anurag Singh Thakur said 3,362 million currency notes of Rs 2000 denomination were in circulation on March 30, 2018, constituting 3.27 per cent and 37.26 per cent of the currency in terms of volume and trade respectively.

As of February 26, 2021, 2,499 million pieces of Rs 2,000 notes were in circulation, constituting 2.01 per cent and 17.78 per cent of banknotes in terms of volume and value, respectively.

Thakur said, “Printing of banknotes of a particular denomination is decided by the government in consultation with RBI to maintain desired denomination mix for facilitating transactional demand of the public,” adding “During the years 2019-20 and 2020-21, no indent has been placed with the presses for printing of Rs 2000 denomination banknotes.”

Earlier in 2019, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had stated that 3,542.991 million notes of Rs 2,000 were printed during the financial year 2016-17 (April 2016 to March 2017), but in 2017-18, only 111.507 million notes were printed, which further reduced to 46.690 million notes in the year 2018-19. It also added that no new Rs 2,000 currency notes were printed since April 2019.

The move is seen as an attempt to prevent hoarding of the high-value currency and thus, curb black money.

Notably, Rs 2,000 notes were introduced in November 2016, soon after the government withdrew Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes in an attempt to curb black money and fake currencies.

While a new Rs 500 note was printed, Rs 1,000 currency notes were discontinued. Instead, Rs 2,000 note was introduced. Besides Rs 2000, the other currency notes in circulation are of the denomination Rs 10, Rs 20, Rs 50 and Rs 100. 

On rising prices of petrol and diesel, MOS for Finance Anurag Thakur on Monday said that both the Centre and the states need to think about reducing taxes on these products. 

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Replying to a question in Lok Sabha, Thakur also said that the government was ready to discuss the issue of bringing petroleum products under the ambit of Goods and Services Tax (GST). He said, “The Centre is ready to consider the idea of reducing the tax on petrol and diesel, the states should also consider it.” 

The minister said, “The state governments should reduce taxes on petrol, we (the Centre) will also try to reduce tax on petrol,” adding “Both the Centre and the states need to think about it (reducing taxes on petrol).” 

Thakur also pointed out that in March 2020, the price of crude oil was around USD 19 per barrel, but the price of crude oil is now around USD 65 per barrel.

On why the government was not bringing petroleum products under GST as promised by the then Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Thakur said no state has so far given a proposal for the same.

(With Agency Inputs)

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