Claiming it to be a massively successful move, the finance ministry on Friday told a Parliamentary committee that post the demonetisation drive, the smuggling of fake currencies into the country has come to a ‘total halt’ and different departments have seized ‘valuables of around Rs 550 cr’ including cash worth Rs 458 cr. In a report published by The Indian Express, the ministry was not able to share exact details of how much money has been brought back to the banking system, nor clarified on the exact time-frame that will be required for restoring normalcy of currency circulation. Though, the ministry claims that the economy has not been left paralysed by the decision to recall Rs 1,000 and old Rs 500 notes.
It is said that the Arun Jaitley-led finance ministry has informed the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that RBI is still working upon the exact numbers of Specified Bank Notes (SBN) and the demonetised currencies. As per the Department of Economic Affairs, “SBNs have been deposited in more than 4,000 currency chests in a short span of 50 days. It is pending finalisation in RBI as of now…physical verification and reconciliation are underway.”
The ministry has informed that 7,176 million pieces of currency in different denominations were printed at RBI’s four presses between November 9 last year and January 13, 2017. Nearly 60 per cent of these were new Rs 500 and Rs 2,000.
K V Thomas who is the Congress Lok Sabha Speaker and heads PAC called top secretaries from the finance ministry, including Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia and Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das, to have a detailed discussions on the implications of monetary policy and demonetisation.
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The ministry also informed that since November 9, 2016 more than 980 intrusive actions have taken place. “These actions have led to seizure of valuables of about Rs 550 crore, which includes cash of Rs 458 crore,” of which Rs 105 crore was in new currency notes of Rs 2,000 and Rs 500, the ministry informed PAC.
As per a report by The Indian Express on January 21, the Department of Revenue had said that Rs 114.33 crore had been seized in new currency notes between November 9, 2016 and January 10 this year. “The total undisclosed income detected in these actions till 28 December 2016 is more than Rs. 4172 crore,” it said.