The answer that everyone was looking for has finally been revealed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). In its annual report that was published today, the RBI said that 99 percent of the banned 500 and 1000 currency notes have been returned. The total circulation of 500 and 1000 currency notes prior to demonetization was estimated to be around 15.50 lakh crore. Out of this, 15.28 lakh crore in the banned 500 and 1000 currency notes have been returned till June 30, 2017. It may be recalled that the 500 and 1000 rupee notes were banned last year on November 8, after an announcement was made regarding the same by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The demonetization was meant for eliminating black money from the market, reducing corruption and countering terrorist activities.
In its report, the RBI has also said that the total value of banknotes in circulation has dropped by 20.2 percent during the last year. It has touched Rs 13.10 lakh crore at the end of March 2017. However, the volume of banknotes has increased by 11.1 percent. This increase is being attributed mainly to the increased infusion of lower denomination currency after demonetization. The newly introduced Rs 2000 notes have been playing a major role and these account for nearly 50 percent of the total circulation in value, as on March 31, 2017. In terms of volume, the most used notes are Rs 10 and Rs 100, which together account for 62 percent of the total currency circulation by volume.