The share of Rs. 500 notes, in terms of value, increased from 22.5% to 42.9% in the same period.
The "humungous task of processing and verification of specified bank notes (SBNs) was successfully achieved", it said. "After demonetization if it had grown at that rate, the currency, which is in the system today, is 87-88 per cent of that.so the Rs 3 lakh to Rs 4 lakh crore less currency is in the system today than it would have been had the old system been in place", he said in an apparent reference to the Rs. three lakh to Rs. four lakh that was claimed would be extinct.
While 6,453 pieces of fake Rs 50 notes were detected in 2015-16, this number jumped to 9,222 in 2016-17 and then increased to a whopping 23,447 in 2017-18.
According to the report, out of the Rs.15.41 lakh crore of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 notes in circulation post demonetisation, nearly Rs.15.31 lakh crore notes worth have been returned. Some amount with the law enforcement agency.
In reply to whether an MoU has been signed with Nepal and Bangladesh on the fate of the demonetised currencies lying in those countries, he said "there are some notes in Nepal in the central bank and in Bangladesh it is even lower".
Another narrative that made the rounds after demonetisation was that the Indian economy had too many high-denomination notes.
The share of newly-introduced ₹200 notes in the total value of banknotes in circulation was 2.1 per cent as at end-March 2018. "Swadeshi" economist S. Gurumurthy, who was recently appointed to the RBI's board, called it a "much-needed attack on excessive liquidity", while other government officials decried the high proportion of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. Growth has since rebounded to 7.7 percent in the quarter ended March 2018.
While The Wire has over the last eighteen months reported and analysed how India's currency-in-circulation (CiC) and currency-to-GDP ratio has not changed drastically after demonetisation, the RBI's annual report provides further proof of how little things have changed.
During the year 2017-18, 27.7 billion pieces of banknotes were disposed as against 12.5 billion pieces the previous year, mainly on account of accelerated processing of SBNs of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 denominations. The volume of banknotes, however, increased by 2.1 per cent. Counterfeiters had also shifted to recreating smaller notes and were now able to replicate en masse the new 500 and 2,000-rupee notes, it said.
"It has helped India move faster towards a digital economy".