The Reserve Bank of India issued new Rs 500 and Rs 2000 notes in 2016 when demonetisation was announced by the central government. There has been speculation about the government phasing out Rs 2000 note but there is no official word or confirmation from the RBI or the ministry of finance. In 2018, there were 3,362 million pieces of Rs 2000 denomination banknotes in circulation. In 2020, the Rs 2000 notes in circulation came down to 2,739.8 million pieces, 2,451 million pieces in 2021 and 2,142 million pieces as on May 27, 2022. What is interesting is that the Rs 2000 currency notes in circulation have declined from 3,362 million pieces in 2018 to 2,142 million pieces in 2022, this marks a percentage decline of over 36 per cent.
Now, an RTI reply has revealed that no new Rs 2000 denomination currency notes were printed by the Reserve Bank of India in the last three years – 2019-20, 2020-21 and 2021-22. The Bharatiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran (P) Ltd printed 3,542.991 million pieces of Rs 2,000 notes in the financial year 2016-17, which drastically came down to 111.507 million notes in 2017-18 and was further reduced to 46.690 million notes in 2018-19, reported IANS. It also revealed that no new Rs 2000 currency notes were printed during 2019-20, 2020-21 and 2021-22.
Last year, the government had told Parliament, “As per the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), as against 3,362 mpcs of Rs 2000 denomination banknotes in circulation on March 30, 2018 constituting 3.27% & 37.26% of NIC in terms of volume and value, respectively; 2499 mpcs were in circulation on February 26, 2021 constituting 2.01% and 17.78% of NIC in terms of volume and value, respectively.”
Since then, the number has been on a decline, showed the data on the RBI website.
A recent reply in the Parliament (on August 1) said that the number of fake currency notes of Rs 2,000 denomination seized in the country as per NCRB data increased substantially between 2016 and 2020, from 2,272 to 2,44,834 pieces. As per the data, the total number of fake Rs 2,000 notes seized in the country in 2016 was 2,272, which increased to 74,898 in 2017 before reducing to 54,776 in 2018. The figures in 2019 stood at 90,566 pieces, before registering a remarkable spike in 2020 to 2,44,834 pieces.
It also said that the RBI issues various instructions to banks on measures to safeguard against forged currency notes. The central bank regularly conducts training programmes on the detection of counterfeit notes for employees/officials of banks and other organisations handling a large amounts of cash.