The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Friday said 97.26 per cent of the ₹2,000 banknotes in circulation as on May 19, 2023, when withdrawal of these notes was announced, has been returned.

The total value of ₹2,000 banknotes in circulation, which amounted to ₹3.56 lakh crore as at the close of business on May 19, 2023, has declined to ₹9,760 crore as at the close of business on November 30, 2023, per an RBI statement.

The RBI initiated the exercise for withdrawal of ₹2,000 banknote on May 19 as the objective of introducing them (to meet the currency requirement of the economy after the withdrawal of legal tender status of all ₹500 and ₹1,000 banknotes in circulation in the November-December 2016 period) was met once banknotes in other denominations became available in adequate quantities.

“About 89 per cent of the ₹2,000 denomination banknotes were issued prior to March 2017 and are at the end of their estimated life-span of 4-5 years...It has also been observed that this denomination is not commonly used for transactions. Further, the stock of banknotes in other denominations continues to be adequate to meet the currency requirement of the public.

“In view of the above, and in pursuance of the ‘Clean Note Policy’ of the Reserve Bank of India, it has been decided to withdraw the ₹2,000 denomination banknotes from circulation,” the central bank said in a statement on May 19, 2023.