RBI Clarifies Misinterpretation of RTI Data, Dismisses Reports of Missing Rs 500 Notes

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has addressed recent reports suggesting the disappearance of Rs 500 banknotes, stating that they are based on a misinterpretation of information obtained through the Right to Information Act. In a clarification issued on June 17, the RBI emphasized that all banknotes supplied from printing presses to the RBI are properly accounted for and that robust systems are in place to monitor production, storage, and distribution.

Certain sections of the media had circulated reports alleging the missing banknotes, citing responses to RTI queries. However, the RBI clarified that the information obtained through the RTI Act was misinterpreted. The central bank urged the public to rely on information published by the RBI regarding such matters, emphasizing its commitment to transparency and accurate reporting.

Earlier reports had claimed that there was a discrepancy between the number of Rs 500 banknotes issued by the mints and the number received by the RBI. The RBI’s clarification addresses these specific reports, reiterating that the banknotes are accounted for and dismissing the notion of missing currency.

The annual report for 2022-23 stated that Rs 2,000 and Rs 500 banknotes accounted for 87.9 percent of the total currency in circulation by value. In terms of volume, Rs 500 denomination constituted the highest share at 37.9 percent. The report also highlighted the increase in the value and volume of coins in circulation.

Furthermore, the RBI announced its plan to withdraw Rs 2,000 banknotes from circulation based on a review and in line with the “Clean Note Policy.” Banks were advised to stop issuing these notes immediately. As of June 8, around 50 percent of the Rs 2,000 notes had already been returned to the banking system, according to the RBI.

The RBI’s clarification seeks to address the misinterpretation of RTI data and provide accurate information regarding the circulation and accounting of Rs 500 banknotes. The central bank assures the public of its commitment to transparency and accountability in managing the currency supply in the country.

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