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Cost of printing currency notes after demonetisation was Rs 7,965 crore

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The government spent Rs 7,965 crore to print currency notes after high-denomination Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 were recalled in 2016. However, the expense on printing new notes that came into circulation post-demonetisation was not available. The Reserve Bank does give the expenditure on printing new notes separately, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told the Parliament in a written reply.

The government spent Rs 3,421 crore on printing notes in 2015-16 (the year prior to demonetisation), Jaitley said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.

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The currency printing cost a year after demonetisation i.e. 2017-18, was lower than 2016-17 but higher than 2015-16 at Rs 4,912. when

“Rs 79.65 billion (Rs 7,965 crore) and Rs 49.12 billion (Rs 4,912 crore) were spent on printing of banknotes in the year 2016-17 and 2017-18, respectively. In addition, Rs 1.09 billion (Rs 109 crore), Rs 1.47 billion ( Rs 147 crore) and Rs 1.15 billion (Rs 115 crore) were spent on remittance of currency in the year 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18, respectively,” the Parliament was informed.

The question sought details on expenditure incurred by the Reserve Bank for calling back Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes and destroying them.

The minister also informed the House that no public sector bank, expect for SBI, has reported incidence of casualty during the period of demonetisation.

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On casualty incidents at all public sector banks during the note ban period, Jaitley said only State Bank of India had reported that three staffers and one customer died during the demonetisation drive. A total compensation of Rs 44.07 lakh (including Rs 3 lakh to customer) was paid to their family members, he said.

On asked if any study has been conducted on the impact of demonetisation on industry and employment situation in the country, the finance minister said that ‘no specific study has been done by government’.

Demonetisation of high-value notes was announced on November 8, 2016, wiping out nearly 86 per cent of the total currency notes in circulation. In a separate question asked about the durability of new Rs 500 and Rs 2000 bank notes, Minister of State for Finance Pon Radhakrishnan said these notes are expected to have normal life as that of older currencies.

He, however, said that some design elements have been changed in the new banknotes. The visible changes in the new banknotes are in form of size, color and inclusion of heritage motifs. He also said that there are no issues related to non-recognition of new Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 notes by the ATMs.

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