Demonetise Rs 2,000 notes, says ex-Economic Affairs Secretary

NEW DELHI: On the third anniversary of demonetisation, former Economic Affairs Secretary SC Garg said the Rs 2,000 note, which the Modi government brought replacing older 500 and 1,000 notes, were being hoarded and should be demonetised.

Demonetise Rs 2,000 notes, says ex-Economic Affairs Secretary

Subhash Chandra Garg, former Economic Affairs Secretary

New Delhi, November 8

On the third anniversary of demonetisation, former Economic Affairs Secretary SC Garg said the Rs 2,000 note, which the Modi government brought replacing older 500 and 1,000 notes, were being hoarded and should be demonetised.

Three years ago, on this day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made the shock announcement of banning the use of old 500 and 1,000 rupee notes with a view to curb black money, promote digital payments and make the country a less-cash economy.

“Cash is still quite high in the system. There is also stocking of Rs 2,000 notes in evidence. The expansion of digital payments is taking place all over the world. It is happening in India as well. The pace is much slower,” Garg, who took VRS from government service after he was abruptly shifted out of the Finance Ministry, said in a note.

Garg, who headed the department that (among other things) overseas currency circulation, said the Rs 2,000-notes account for about one-third of currency notes in circulation in value terms.

“A good chunk of Rs 2,000 notes are actually not in circulation, having been hoarded. Rs 2,000 note, therefore, is not presently working as a currency of transaction,” he said advocating that they may be demonetised or withdrawn from circulation.

“It can be demonetised, without causing any disruption. A simple method, depositing these notes in the bank accounts (no counter replacement), can be used to manage the process,” he said.

The November 8, 2016, demonetisation decision was aimed at lowering the high-denomination currency in circulation, but almost all of the demonetised currency came back into the system during the window provided by the government for that. — PTI

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