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₹12 lakh crore currency in market: Jaitley

New currency notes worth over Rs 12,00,000 crore are currently in circulation in the country, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Friday.

Jaitley said in Lok Sabha, the Lower House of Parliament, that as far as the re-monetisation exercise was concerned, the RBI has been injecting new currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 denominations systematically into the market since November 8.

He said the last data the Reserve Bank of India had released was on February 24, and till then, currency in circulation was worth about Rs 11,64,100 crore.

"So, this is the quantum of currency which they, as on February 24, made available in the market. A fortnight has almost elapsed since then. This amount itself would have now increased to beyond Rs 12,00,000 crore," he said during Question Hour.

He said the RBI keeps releasing data from time to time.

Responding to supplementary questions, the minister said it was difficult to give an exact figure on the number of defunct Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes deposited so far.

"Every currency note has to be verified - whether it is genuine or fake. Then the genuine and fake notes have to be segregated. It is a very large exercise. It is difficult to tell (the figure) now. Once the RBI completes the exercise, we will inform the House in details," he said.

Jaitley said the cost of the currency note is the function of direct and indirect material and labour cost, which changes every year. Differences also arise due to the type and age of machines and the skill-level of the employees.

"Due to the differences mentioned, the cost of notes varies from Rs 2.87 to Rs 3.09 per Rs 500 note (old or new) and from Rs 3.34 to Rs 3.77 per Rs 1,000 note. The cost of one Rs 2,000 note is in the same range as that of the old Rs 1,000 note," he said.

The minister also said that the net direct tax collection in December last year was Rs 1,40,824 crore, compared to Rs 1,35,660 crore in December, 2015.
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