The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) recently said in its annual report that no currency notes of Rs 2,000 denomination was printed in 2019-20. The RBI report led to some unconfirmed reports that the Centre has decided to discontinue printing of Rs 2000 notes.
The Centre, however, has now confirmed that it has not decided to discontinue the printing of the high denomination notes yet but confirmed that the printing of Rs 2000 has been lowered significantly.
“During the year 2019-20 and 2020-21, no indent has been placed with the presses for printing of Rs. 2000 denomination notes. However, there is no decision to discontinue the printing of Rs. 2,000 denomination bank notes by the Government,” Minister of State for Finance, Anurag Thakur, said in a written reply in Lok Sabha.
When asked whether coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak has affected the printing process of currency notes, Thakur responded that the printing of notes were stopped temporarily due to the nation-wide lockdown. The minister, however, said that the printing was resumed later in a phased manner, he said.
According to RBI's annual report, the number of Rs 2,000 currency notes in circulation fell from 33,632 lakh pieces at end-March 2018 to 32,910 lakh pieces at end-March 2019 and further to 27,398 lakh pieces at end-March 2020. The report added that the currency notes of Rs 2,000 denomination were not printed in 2019-20 and the circulation of these notes have declined over the years.
The RBI report also said that the Rs 2,000 denomination notes constituted 2.4 per cent of the total volume of notes at end-March 2020, down from 3 per cent at end-March 2019 and 3.3 per cent at end-March 2018.