The demonetisation was hailed as a step that would curb black money, corruption and check counterfeit currency but RBI said, "Counterfeit notes detected in SBNs decreased by 59.7 and 59.6 per cent in the denominations of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000, respectively".
The Reserve Bank of India in its annual report has said Rs 15.31 lakh crore out of the total Rs 15.41 lakh crore demonetised currency have returned to the banking system.
This means that just Rs 10,720 crore of the junked currency notes did not return to the banking system. According to the RBI data, 522,783 pieces of counterfeit notes were detected in the banking system in 2017-18.
"This entire elaborate theory which was built that demonetisation is going to result in a cash-less economy, has been blown out of the water by the RBI figure", he said.
The SBNs received were verified, counted and processed in sophisticated high-speed Currency Verification and Processing System (CVPS) for accuracy and genuineness and then shredded, it added. The total value of SBNs in circulation as on November 08, 2016, post verification and reconciliation, was Rs 15,417.93 billion. Besides, the value of bank notes in circulation has increased by 37.7% over the year, reaching Rs 18,037 lakh crore by the end of March 2018.
"Remember who had said that Rs 3 lakh crore will not come back and that will be a gain for the government?" he said, taking a dig at Modi.
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"I suspect that the bulk of the Rs 13,000 crore is currency in Nepal and Bhutan and some that was lost or destroyed". Thousands of SMEs were shut. Crores of daily wage earners lost their jobs and the country lost 1.5 pc of GDP growth that translates into Rs 2.25 lakh crore per year, he claimed. Indian economy lost 1.5 per cent of GDP in terms of growth. Instead, a new Rs 2,000 notes were introduced post note ban.
The RBI in its annual report for 2017-18 said that the "exercise is finally over".
The Modi government had listed curbing black money as the primary intention of the move, along with making India a less cash-based economy.
The annual report, curiously, also provides a glimpse of how attempts at remonetisation over the past year focused heavily on supplying the new Rs 500 and Rs 200 currency notes. Over five lakh shell companies were closed down, he said.
Chidambaram said every rupee of the Rs 15.42 lakh crore, barring a small sum of Rs 13,000 crore, has come back to the RBI.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's decision to ban high-value currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000, along with the introduction of the goods and services tax (GST) a year ago, acted as a drag on the Indian economy. "Thus, there is a 5.8 per cent, or Rs 1 lakh crore, shift in favour of small denomination currency notes", said Soumya Kanti Ghosh, Group Chief Economic Adviser, SBI.