The hoarding of Rs 2,000 currency notes has fallen as the seizure of unaccounted cash stocked in this denomination has seen a marked decline over the last three financial years, the government said. While cash seized was over 60 per cent in FY18 and FY19, it fell to just over 43 per cent so far in the current financial year, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday. "The percentage of unaccounted cash seized in the denomination of Rs 2,000, out of the total cash seized, is 67.91%, 65.93% and 43.22% in financial years 2017-18, 2018-19 and the current financial year till date, respectively," Nirmala Sitharaman said.
The fall in percentage of Rs 2,000 bank notes seized could be due to a lesser number of such notes being printed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) over the years. Not a single Rs 2,000 note has been printed in this financial year, RBI recently revealed in a reply to an RTI. In FY17, 3,542.991 million notes were printed, which came down to 111.507 million notes in FY18 and further fell to 46.690 million in FY19, the RTI also said. Rs 2,000 note was introduced by the government during the demonetisation period as a part of a plan to counter black money. There were 3,363 million notes in circulation at the end of March 2018. This amounted to 3.3 per cent of the total currency in circulation in volume terms and 37.3 per cent in value terms, RBI's October data showed.
Meanwhile, earlier in the month, former economic affairs secretary SC Garg said that Rs 2,000 notes may be less in circulation currently as they are being hoarded. SC Garg had also said that the high-denomination notes can be demonetised endorsing the estimates of the shrinkage in circulation of these currency notes, a news agency reported.