The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday said 97.62 per cent of the ₹2,000 banknotes in circulation as on May 19, 2023, had been returned by February 29, 2024, with the remaining notes in circulation continuing to be legal tender.

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The central bank, in its update on withdrawal of ₹2,000 denomination banknotes, underscored that 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 when their withdrawal was announced, has declined to ₹8,470 crore as at the close of business on February 29, 2024.

The facility for exchange of the ₹2,000 banknotes is available at RBI’s 19 Issue Offices since May 19, 2023, per a central bank statement.

From October 09, 2023, RBI Issue Offices are also accepting ₹2,000 banknotes from individuals/entities for depositing into their bank accounts.

Further, members of the public are sending ₹2,000 banknotes through India Post from any post office within the country, to any of the RBI Issue Offices for credit to their bank accounts.

The RBI initiated the exercise for withdrawal of ₹2,000 banknotes on May 19, 2023, 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.”

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“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.