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RBI Declines to Give Information About Black Money, Counterfeit Notes Recovered Post Demonetisation
New Delhi, Oct 20: No information is available about black money and counterfeit notes recovered post demonetisation, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said in response to an RTI query. The RBI also said it has scrapped 9,711.62 million demonetized notes of Rs 500 denomination and 4,709.72 million Rs 1,000 notes till August this year. As far as the new notes of Rs 500 and Rs 2000 are concerned, the RTI reply revealed that as many as 4,292.225 million notes of new Rs 500 and 3,542.991 million notes of Rs 2,000 have been printed till March 31, 2017.
The RTI was filed to seek information about black money and counterfeit notes detected post demonetisation in the country. “Processing of notes is in progress,” the central bank replied. The RBI also declined to give information on printing defects in the new legal tender of Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 citing country’s “economic interest”. There were reports of variants of new Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 notes differing in colour and design.
“The information sought by the applicant cannot be furnished since it falls under the ambit of Section 8 1(a) of the RTI Act,” Bharatiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran Private Limited (BRBNMPL) said in response to the RTI. Section 8 1(a) of the RTI Act states that “information, disclosure of which would prejudicially affect the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security, strategic, scientific or economic interests of the State, relation with foreign State or lead to incitement of an offence”.
In its annual report released in August this year, the RBI that of the Rs 15.44 lakh crore worth old currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 in circulation, Rs 15.28 lakh crore returned to banks during the demonetisation drive. This means as much as 99 per cent of banned currency notes has returned to banks during the note ban period. On November 8, 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced demonetization of old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency.
The demonetisation drive was touted as a measure to check black money and curb corruption and counterfeiting in terror activities.