The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has revealed in its annual report that not a single Rs 2,000 banknote was printed in the financial year 2019-20 (FY20). As per the report, there were 33,632 lakh pieces of Rs 2,000 notes in circulation at end-March 2018, which declined to 32,910 lakh pieces by March 2019 and further to 27,398 lakh pieces by the end of March 2020.
During FY20, there was no indent for printing of Rs 2,000 currency notes and also no fresh supplies were made by Bharatiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran Private Limited (BRBNMPL) and Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India Limited (SPMCIL), the report said.
BRBNMPL is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the RBI which prints banknotes, while SPMCIL is a state-owned entity that makes Cylinder mould vat made Watermarked Bank Note (CWBN) paper required for banknote production.
According to RBI data, the share of Rs 2,000 notes in the total volume of banknotes fell to 2.4 per cent in 2019-20 against 3 per cent in 2018-19 and 3.3 per cent at end-March 2018. In terms of value, the share of Rs 2,000 notes have plunged to 22.6 per cent in 2019-20, from 31.2 per cent in 2018-19, and 37.3 per cent at the end of March 2018.
Overall, the value and volume of banknotes in circulation increased by 14.7 per cent and 6.6 per cent, respectively, during 2019-20. In value terms, the share of Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 banknotes together accounted for 83.4 per cent of the total value of banknotes in circulation at March-end, with a sharp increase in the share of Rs 500 banknotes.
At present, the central bank issues notes in denominations of Rs 2, Rs 5, Rs 10, Rs 20, Rs 50, Rs 100, Rs 200, Rs 500 and Rs 2,000. Coins in circulation comprise 50 paise and Rs 1, Rs 2, Rs 5, Rs 10 and the recently launched coin of Rs 20 denomination. In terms of value, banknotes accounted for the major share of the total Currency in circulation (around 99 per cent).
Meanwhile, the indent and supply of banknotes was down during the last fiscal mainly due to the disruptions caused by the outbreak of COVID-19 and the ensuing lockdown. The indent of banknotes was lower by 13.1 per cent than that of a year ago, while the supply was also down by 23.3 per cent on yearly basis.
RBI said that fake notes detected in the denomination of Rs 2,000 declined by 22.1 per cent to 17,020 pieces in FY20 compared to 21,847 pieces in the previous year. On the contrary, there was an increase of 144.6 per cent, 28.7 per cent, 151.2 per cent and 37.5 per cent in counterfeit notes detected in the denominations of Rs 10, Rs 50, Rs 200 and Rs 500 [Mahatma Gandhi (New) Series], respectively.
Meanwhile, the total expenditure incurred on security printing during July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020 was Rs 4,377.84 crore as against Rs 4,810.67 crore in the previous year mainly due to lower indent placed during the year.