According to the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) annual report for 2017-18, the number of fake Rs 50 notes detected shot up 154.3 per cent to 23,447 pieces, as against 9,222 notes detected in 2016-17 and 6,453 in 2015-16. On November 8, 2016, when the demonetisation process kicked-in, currency notes of denominations of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 (SBNs), valued at Rs 15.4 lakh crore and constituting 86.9 per cent of the value of total notes in circulation were demonetised (scrapped).
"The promise of RBI that new currency notes of Rs 2,000 and Rs 500 - post demonetisation - are more secured and less prone to counterfeit is not entirely correct", said an analysis by the State Bank of India (SBI).
At the time of demonetization three were 17165 million units of Rs 500 notes and 6858 million units of the Rs 1000 notes which together added up to Rs 15.44 lakh crore of currency that was demonetized. As many as 199 fake currency notes of Rs 500 of the new design were discovered in 2016-'17.
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The RBI said that the detection of counterfeit Rs 100 notes increased 35 per cent to 239,182 pieces during the said period, compared with 177,195 notes in 2016-17 and 221,447 in 2015-16. For instance, the SBI's economic research department, headed by chief economist Soumya Kanti Ghosh, predicted that up to Rs 2.5 lakh crore wouldn't come back into the banking system.
It took almost two years for RBI to complete the tasks of processing and verifying banned currency notes, its annual report showed.
The Congress was quick to pounce on the data to attack the government saying every rupee barring a small sum has come back to RBI. For instance, parts of the Rs 10,000 crore could lie with money seized by law enforcement, cash still being held with district cooperative banks and in bank notes being held by citizens of Nepal and Bhutan.
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The RBI's annual report, however, indicates that demonetisation has not made a huge dent in this regard, as the proportion of high-value notes is marginally lower now than what it was pre-demonetisation. The volume of banknotes, however, increased by 2.1 per cent.
The value of banknotes in circulation increased by 37.7% 0ver the previous year to Rs 18,037 billion as at end-March 2018.
An amount of Rs 107.20 billion in demonetised notes were not returned, as of 30 June 2018.
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