To begin with, the number of Rs 2,000 notes in circulation had come down over the years with printing having stopped a few years ago as the government and the RBI saw it as a stop-gap arrangement, post-demonetisation.
In fact, Nripendra Misra, former principal secretary to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, told News18 that the PM was not keen on introduction of Rs 2,000 notes.
“However, upon the advice of his team, he (the PM) allowed the notes as he is the captain. But he was clear then and so were we that this was a short-term arrangement. The poor and middle class don’t use Rs 2,000 notes, they use smaller ones like Rs 500 and Rs 100 and the PM was clear that he didn’t want the poor to be affected,” the retired civil servant said.
With bankers not expecting long queues, government sources said opposition will find it tough to make a case of the move inconveniencing the public, especially when a majority of the people will have two-three three of the highest denomination notes.
“The Rs 2000 notes are not being used much as a medium of exchange. In fact, they currently constitute only 10.8% of currency in circulation (CiC). Digital payments are being used in huge numbers for economic transactions. So, the role of physical currency notes, especially Rs 2000 note, as a medium of exchange has declined significantly,” India’s executive director to IMF Krishnamurthy Subramanian tweeted.