No records of fake currency deposited in banks: RBI
There is no record available of the fake currency which has been detected in the demonetised notes deposited in banks, Reserve Bank of India has said. Responding to an RTI inquiry from Mumbai-based activist Anil Galgali seeking to know the extent of fake currency found in demonetised notes of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 deposited in banks till December 10, 2016, the RBI has said no information is available with it.
Earlier, RBI had refused to disclose information about consultation undertaken before the demonetisation move was announced by the Prime Minister on November 8. Even the Prime Minister's Office had refused to disclose if Chief Economic Advisor and Finance Minister were consulted before the decision was announced.
The design of new banknotes of Rs 500 and Rs 2000 denominations was approved at the May 19, 2016, meeting of the Central Board of RBI, an RTI query has revealed. The apex bank, however, refused to disclose the name of the Governor who approved the design citing section 8(1)(a) of the transparency law.
In his application, city-based activist Jeetendra Ghadge had sought the exact date of the approval of the design of new bills. "The new design of the bank notes was approved by the Central Board of Reserve Bank of India at its meeting held on May 19, 2016," the Central Public Information Officer of RBI stated in the response.
As per the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934, general superintendence and direction of the Bank's affairs are taken care of by the central board of directors, a body headed by the governor of the RBI.
Raghuram Rajan was governor of the apex bank during September 2013-September 2016.
RBI cited section 8(1)(a) of RTI Act to refuse information to Ghadge who had sought to know exact date of the first meeting held at the apex bank with the agenda to print new currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 2000 denominations, and the exact date of the order allowing their printing.
Ghadge on Tuesday said the RBI and its Governor need to come clean on the entire processes of demonetisation "so that responsibility could be fixed and the common people's trust is maintained."
Demonetisation of old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 bills was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 8 last year.
RBI Governor Urjit Patel had recently appeared before the Parliament's Public Accounts Committee (PAC), and the Standing Committee on Finance headed by former union minister and senior Congress leader Veerappa Moily, to clarify on demonetisation.
He faced some tough questions from MPs as he could not set a time frame for return of normalcy in the banking system even as the central bank asserted that Rs 9.2 lakh crore or 60 percent of demonetised currency has been replaced.
Patel also could not give a definite number of old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 bills returned post demonetisation as RBI was still tabulating those.
Sources said the Governor was spared a tough grilling at the meeting of the Parliament's Standing Committee on Finance as senior MPs including former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh intervened to say RBI as an institution needs to be respected.