The number of Rs 2,000 currency notes in circulation has come down from 33,632 lakh pieces at end-March 2018 to 32,910 lakh pieces at end-March 2019 and further to 27,398 lakh pieces at end-March 2020, the RBI Annual Report said.
The number of pieces of Rs 2,000 denomination notes constituted 2.4 per cent of the total volume of notes at end-March 2020, down from 3 per cent at end-March 2019 and 3.3 per cent at end-March 2018.
In value terms also, the share has come down to 22.6 per cent at end-March 2020, from 31.2 per at end-March 2019 and 37.3 per cent at the end-March 2018.
On the other hand, the circulation of currency notes of denomination of Rs 500 and Rs 200 has gone up substantially, both in terms of volume and value over the three years beginning 2018.
The RBI report further revealed that no indent for printing of Rs 2,000 currency notes was made during 2019-20 and no fresh supplies were made by BRBNMPL (Bharatiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran Private Limited) and SPMCIL (Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India Limited).
“The indent of banknotes for 2019-20 was lower by 13.1 per cent than that of a year ago.
The supply of banknotes during 2019-20 was also lower by 23.3 per cent than in the previous year mainly due to the disruptions caused by the outbreak of COVID-19 and the ensuing lockdown,” it said.
On Rs 500 denomination notes, the RBI said indent for printing of 1,463 crore pieces were issued and 1,200 crore pieces were supplied during 2019-20. This compares with indent of 1,169 crore pieces and 1,147 crore supply during 2018-19.
The order was also given to BRBNMPL and SPMCIL for printing currency notes of Rs 100 (330 crore pieces), Rs 50 (240 crore pieces), Rs 200 (205 crore pieces), Rs 10 (147 crore pieces) and Rs 20 (125 crore pieces) during 2019-20. A large number of them were also supplied during the fiscal for circulation.
The report also said that during 2019-20, out of the total Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICNs) detected in the banking sector, 4.6 per cent were detected at the Reserve Bank and 95.4 per cent by other banks. A total of 2,96,695 pieces of counterfeit notes were detected.
Compared to the previous year, there was an increase of 144.6 per cent, 28.7 per cent, 151.2 per cent and 37.5 per cent in counterfeit notes detected in the denominations of Rs 10, Rs 50, Rs 200 and Rs 500 [Mahatma Gandhi (New) Series], respectively.
Counterfeit notes detected in the denominations of Rs 20, Rs 100 and Rs 2,000 declined by 37.7 per cent, 23.7 per cent and 22.1 per cent, respectively, the report said.
The number of counterfeit notes of Rs 2,000 detected was 17,020 pieces during the last fiscal, down from 21,847 in 2018-19.
The Reserve Bank also said it has undertaken several initiatives to introduce varnished banknotes in Rs 100 denomination on a field trial basis.
However, the process of printing of these notes has been delayed due to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and certain other developments.