Deposited demonetised notes still being counted: RBI Governor

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Reserve Bank of India Governor Urjit Patel is still not in the position to tell the amount of demonetised currency returned.

As several Opposition members in the committee - which is led by Congress MP Veerappa Moily - expressed their dissatisfaction over the RBI governor's rigid stand, and exasperated Mr Singh, is understood to have wondered towards the end of the meeting whether the Centre will be able to provide the information before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The session is to conclude on August 11.

The remarks came as the panel asked Patel to give details of the value of the Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes which were allowed to be exchanged till December 30, 2016.

Patel, who met the panel along with the four deputy governors, was unable to tell the committee members the exact number of notes returned to the banking system despite the fact that banks had submitted their data in January 2017 itself.

He is learnt to have told the panel that the process of counting the junked notes was still on and the central bank has to verify fake notes for which specialised machines are being procured.

In Jan'17, Patel met with the Parliamentary panel for the first time to address demonetization-related queries.

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In a meeting that lasted for three hours, Patel told the panel that the counting process is still underway.

The committee, had on January 18 questioned Patel about the decision of demonetisation.

The Samajwadi Party's Naresh Aggarwal and Trinamool MP Saugato Roy had asked the RBI Governor how much of the banned notes have come back into the system. There are more than 15,000 staff at the RBI. The RBI chief informed the members that the central bank has curtailed holidays for its employees for counting of the junked notes. RBI is still trying to reconcile the data and matching it with the banks figures, he further stated. In other words, it took 32 days for the RBI to compute the figure of Rs 12.44 lakh crore or about 81 percent of the total amount of currency demonetised.

Manmohan Singh did not ask any question to the governor, according to three panel members.

Patel failed to answer many questions put by members, including Chairman Moily.

They also wanted to know from the governor whether the use of cryptocurrencies is legally permitted, a member said.

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