After weeks of silence on official data, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Urjit Patel reportedly told a Parliamentary panel on demonetisation that the central bank has replaced about ₹9.2 lakh crore in new currency thus far since the government's srapped an estimated ₹15.44 lakh crore in old ₹500 and ₹1,000 notes in November, ET reported.
That is only about 60 per cent of the displaced currency and the most reliable explanation yet behind the ongoing cash crunch.
However, Patel reportedly declined to disclose how much old currency has come back to banks. The lack of transparency on that data has frustrated analyst efforts to evaluate the government's and RBI's claim that the cash crackdown would effectively fight black money. According to media reports, about 94 to 97 per cent of old notes have already come back to banks.
According to PTI, Patel is also understood to have told the panel that discussions between the central bank and the government on the process began early last year.
During the meeting, Congress members of the committee asked questions like whose decision was it to withdraw high currency notes and also about autonomy of RBI, PTI reported. The questions put up by the panel ranged from the total amount of money that came back during the demonetisation period to the total amount of new bills of Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 that were printed and sent to the banks.
The Finance Ministry has reportedly sought time to provide additional answers to queries that were raised during the meeting after panel members weren't satisfied with the replies, PTI said.
Patel is also scheduled to appear before the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament on the same issue on January 20.
With PTI inputs