The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Wednesday brushed aside concerns over the pace of remonetisation in the economy, saying 82.6% of the currency in circulation before the withdrawal of high-value currency notes on November 8 has already been put back into circulation. At a post-policy press conference, RBI deputy governor BP Kanungo said, “If you look at the data, 82.6% of pre-December and November NIC (notes in circulation) has been remonetised, which is a large number. If you look at the volume, it is 108% of the figure as on that day (November 8). So, it would not be true to say that there is shortage of economy (currency).” Kanungo admitted that there could be shortage in some areas, but said the RBI is monitoring the situation on a regular basis and has made enough arrangements to replenish cash. “Yes, there could be shortage of currency in some pockets but whenever such things come to our notice, we respond immediately through various measures including inter-chest remittances. “I won’t agree to the view that there is cash shortage on a longer term basis or persistent basis at any place,” he said.
Kanungo responded to a question on the shortage of cash at some ATMs by saying that at least a few ATMs continue to be functional in places with a relatively larger concentration of ATMs. “In a place where there are seven or eight ATMs, some of the ATMs do work and it used to be the case even before demonetisation,” Kanungo said. On November 8, the government had announced withdrawal of currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000, a move which resulted in 86% of the currency being removed from circulation. As per RBI data, currency with the public stood at Rs 12.64 lakh crore, as on March 31.