India has stopped printing Rs 2,000 notes in a bid to slowly reduce their circulation, a highly placed government source told ThePrint.
The cut in circulation does not mean the Rs 2,000 notes will become invalid. In all likelihood, the denomination will be gradually phased out.The decision comes on the back of suspicion in the Modi government that the high-denomination banknote was being used for hoarding, tax evasion and money laundering.
The RBI, India’s central bank and currency-issuing agency, did not respond to an email from ThePrint seeking comment. This report will be updated when it responds.The Rs 2,000 note was introduced in November 2016, after the government demonetised Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 denominations as part of an exercise pitched as a crackdown on black money. At that time, to counter the massive cash shortage, the government flooded the country with new Rs 2,000 notes.
As of March 2018, the total value of the currency in circulation was Rs 18.03 lakh crore, of which Rs 6.73 lakh crore, or 37 per cent, was in Rs 2,000 notes, and Rs 7.73 lakh crore, approximately 43 per cent, in Rs 500 notes. The remaining was in the lower denominations.