The total value of currency notes in circulation has come down by a quarter to Rs 11.73 lakh crore post demonetisation, Parliament was informed on Friday.
There were Rs 16.41 lakh crore worth currency notes in circulation as on March 31 last year, which has come down to Rs 11.73 lakh crore as on March 3, 2017, Minister of State for Finance Arjun Ram Meghwal said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha.
"The reduction in notes in circulation is due to demonetisation of specified bank notes," he said.
As on March 31, 2014, there were Rs 12.82 lakh crore worth of notes in circulation, which went up to Rs 14.28 lakh crore till March 31, 2015 and further to Rs 16.41 lakh crore at the end of March 2016.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 8 announced demonetisation of 500 and 1,000 rupee notes, which accounted for 86 per cent of the total currency in circulation.
Post demonetisation, the government has come up with new 500 and 2,000 rupee notes with added security features.
Meghwal said that up to February 2017, there were 1.9 billion and 1.03 billion Rs 5 coins and Rs 10 coins, respectively, in the market. Besides, there were 2.6 billion Rs 10 notes and 3.6 billion Rs 20 notes, respectively.
To a query regarding the cost of printing new 500 and 2,000 notes, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the cost price of the currency note is the function of direct and indirect material and labour costs, which changes every year.
"Differences also arise due to type and age of machines and the skill level of the employees... Due to the differences, the cost of notes varies from Rs 2.87 to Rs 3.09 per Rs 500 note and from Rs 3.54 to Rs 3.77 for a Rs 1,000 note. The cost of Rs 2,000 note is in the same range as that of the old Rs 1,000 note," Jaitley said.
There are four printing presses which print currency notes - two with the Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India (SPMCIL) and two with the Bharatiya Reserve Bank Note Mudran Private (BRBNMPL).
(Feature image source: PTI)