RBI stops printing Rs 2000 notes, focus turns to Rs 200 notes

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The new batches of 500-rupee notes are expected to ease the shortage of 2,000-rupee notes in circulation that is being reported in certain parts of the country. The RBI’s Mysore press has started printing the new 200-rupee bills, which are likely to come into circulation next month.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) stopped printing 2,000-rupee notes about five months ago, stepping up instead the production of smaller bills, including a new Rs 200, people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

The central bank is also unlikely to print more 2000-rupee notes in the current financial year, they said on condition of anonymity.

The government brought in the 2000-rupee note to quickly tide over a cash crunch from demonetisation, but fewer lower-value currency in circulation meant people struggled to change the big denomination bill.

The RBI’s focus now on printing small bills is aimed at bridging that gap.

About 3.7 billion 2,000-rupee notes amounting to Rs 7.4 trillion have been printed, said one of the people cited above. That more than compensates for the 6.3 billion 1,000-rupee bills withdrawn from November 8.

“Most of the printing that’s being done, about 90% is only 500-rupee notes. Nearly 14 billion pieces of new 500-rupee notes have been printed so far,” one of the people cited above said.

That is also close to the 15.7 billion of old 500-rupee notes (amounting to Rs7.85 trillion) withdrawn from circulation after November 8.

Not all the new notes printed so far have been released into circulation by the central bank.

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