Sena MP to RBI: reveal final count of demonetised notes

The Shiv Sena MP sought the final figure of demonetised notes deposited in banks since November 8, 2016. Reuters file photo

RBI Governor Urjit Patel, who appeared on Tuesday before a Parliamentary panel examining the issue of NPA and bank frauds, was asked to divulge the final count of demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes deposited with banks.

Patel, who had told the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance way back in July 2017 that the notes of these two denominations, which were demonetised on November 8, 2016, are still being counted and RBI, therefore, could not provide the exact amount of the scrapped notes received. He again ducked the query this time round.

This time, Chandrakant Khaire, a Lok Sabha MP from NDA's estranged ally Shiv Sena, sought the final figure of demonetised notes deposited in banks since November 8, 2016. Congress members on the panel did not raise questions about demonetisation.

There was also a demand by some members that given the number of bank frauds and seriousness of NPA and other related issues, RBI Governor should be asked to appear at least thrice before the Parliamentary panel on Finance in a year.

The RBI Governor's latest appearance was to answer queries related to challenges before the banking sector,  including Non-Performing Assets/Stressed Assets in Banks/Financial Institutions. This was his third appearance.

He had appeared twice before the panel in January and July last year and had answered oral as well as written queries related to demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 and its ramifications.

The panel, which also took up the subject 'Transformation towards a digital economy by the Committee', adopted a report on it submitted in December last year. But a report on demonetisation has eluded adoption ever since a draft report circulated by panel Chairman M Veerappa Moily in August last failed to find consensus with some finding the report a “weak one” and members from BJP calling it too critical.

Lacking punch

BJD member B Mahtab, who had opposed the draft report on the ground that it lacked punch, asked Chairman Moily on Tuesday why a report on demonetisation could not be finalised even after the RBI Governor had appeared twice before.

To Moily's contention that he wanted the panel to adopt the report unanimously like many other reports, Mahtab's argument was that the report cannot be kept pending indefinitely for consensus and should be adopted even with dissent notes.

Mahtab's argument was vehemently opposed by BJP members, who said they had written a letter to panel Chairman Moily to highlight how they were not consulted when the last draft report was finalised.

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Sena MP to RBI: reveal final count of demonetised notes

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