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Tuesday 21 January 2020

Demonetisation of Rs 2,000 notes: Real or fake news?

There have been reports in a section of the media saying that notes of denomination Rs 2000 are being phased out, with SBI leading the process

As the demand for cash rises this festive season, a section of the media has reported that the slot for Indian currency notes of denomination Rs 2,000 is being withdrawn from ATMs. Reportedly, the process of demonetisation has started with the country’s largest public-sector bank, the State Bank of India (SBI).

In fact, there have been reports in the last three days that slots (or cassettes) of Rs 2,000 are being removed from the SBI ATMs of small cities and towns under instructions of the RBI. In place of this slot, banks are increasing the number of slots for Rs 100, Rs 200 and Rs 500 notes.

The demonetisation rumour goes like this: The SBI is taking back Rs 2,000 notes from its customers in small cities. These media reports advise people to not spread rumours that the government is withdrawing the Rs 2,000 notes. They say this while also insisting that preparations are afoot to remove the notes of the said denomination slowly from ATMs.

According to a report, the SBI started the process in its Kanpur division in Uttar Pradesh. A senior SBI official has been quoted in the story, who said that for about a year, new notes of Rs 2,000 have not been put in the ATM units of the bank.

On talking to senior RBI officials in Mumbai about the reports, they rejected the ‘news’ outright. They called it a rumour, categorically stating that the news of the Rs 2,000 note ban is absolutely wrong. RBI has not given any such order to any bank, they said.

The source termed the news of demonetisation of the Rs 2,000 note slot from SBI’s ATM as false.

According to the RBI, if any such order is issued, the documents related to it are uploaded on the RBI website. So, people should not pay attention to such rumours, sources said.

Rejecting all the media reports that spoke of yet another demonetisation exercise, albeit a phased one, an RBI official said that the Rs 2,000 note is in circulation and will continue to be so. He said that information about the number of Rs 2,000 notes in circulation is available on the RBI website.

After the demonetisation of 8 November 2016, the RBI had introduced the note of denomination Rs 2,000. Since then, perhaps owing to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s proclivity for surprises, some people have been gossiping about the Rs 2,000 note. As of now, though, the RBI has clearly stated that the Rs 2,000 notes are available everywhere in the country and will continue to be so.

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