A bank employee counting bundles of received currency of old 1000 & 500 notes at a Punjab National Bank branch in Chennai. (Source: PTI)

RBI Refuses To State Cost Of Destroying Banned Currency

India’s central bank has declined to reveal the cost incurred on shredding banned currency notes worth Rs 15.31 lakh crore which was returned to banks following demonetisation, a Right to Information activist said, citing a response from the central bank.

The Reserve Bank of India responded to a RTI query by Chandrashekhar Gaud and said that the process of destruction of banned notes got over in March 2018.

In its reply dated Oct. 29 to the query by an RTI activist from Madhya Pradesh, the RBI said that invalidated notes worth Rs 10,720 crore did not return to the banking system.

The information was provided by the RBI's Department of Currency Management, Gaud told PTI. The banned currency was destroyed through machines of the currency verification and processing system, it said.

Also read: 99.3% Of Demonetised Money Returns To RBI, Report Shows

Gaud's question on the cost incurred on the destruction of banned currency received no information from the RBI. It cited Section 7(9) of the RTI Act, suggesting that the information was unavailable and providing it would "disproportionately divert the resources" of the RBI.

Currency worth Rs 15,41,793 crore in denominations of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 was in circulation when demonetisation was announced on Nov. 8, 2016. In the time window offered for depositing the scrapped currency in banks, Rs 15,31,073 crore was returned, it said.

Gaud said he also did not get a reply to his query as to how many Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes were destroyed. The RBI had informed in August that as much as 99.3 percent of the junked Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes returned to the banking system.