Govt focussed on printing more Rs 500 notes to end cash crunch

A top official has said that the government was ‘focussing’ on printing more of Rs 500 notes in order to alleviate the ongoing cash crunch being experienced by members of the public.

The announcement comes amid complaints that not enough new currency notes are being injected into circulation.

Shaktikanta Das, Secretary at India’s Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), also said that the new currency notes couldn’t be ‘counterfeited’.

Widespread use of fake notes was one of the original reasons behind scrapping the old notes in the first place.

Another news report revealed that the government intended on easing restrictions on withdrawal from banks and ATMs once 80 percent worth of new currency is pumped back into circulation.The bureaucrat, however, didn’t specify a time frame within which that would that be achieved.

Withdrawal restrictions will first be relaxed for cooperative banks and will be removed totally when ‘remonetisation’ will be complete, news agency Press Trust of India (PTI) reported the official saying.

It was also reported that 50 percent of the new currency being injected into circulation was in newly printed notes.

The current withdrawal limit for individuals is set at Rs 24,000 a week from bank.

A report in the Times of India last month highlighted that only 10 percent of the scrapped currency could be replenished in new notes as of Nov 22.

India is undertaking a massive economic exercise to replace the old currency notes of value Rs 500 and 1,000 with freshly minted ones. The scrapped currency made up nearly 86 percent of money in circulation.

In a countrywide televised address that informed about demonetisation on Nov 8, PM Modi had assured that citizens that note swap would complete by Dec 30.