Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the deposit base of banks have become stronger (File)
The old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes are being reconciled and processed by the Reserve Bank of India or RBI for verifying numerical accuracy and authenticity, and the progress is being closely monitored, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said today. In a written reply in the Rajya Sabha, Mr Jaitley said the central bank is still completing the counting of specified bank notes or SBNs.
"SBNs received are being reconciled to obviate reporting errors and processed for verifying numerical accuracy and authenticity through machines. The progress is being closely monitored," he said.
Steps have been taken to augment the RBI's machine processing capacity and efforts are afoot to complete the counting of notes "as soon as possible", Mr Jaitley added.
According to the finance minister, demonetisation has resulted in "several gains" and the Income-Tax Department between November 9 and January 10 has made more than 1,100 searches and surveys.
"These actions have led to the seizure of valuables of more than Rs 610 crore which included cash of Rs 513 crore. Seizure of cash in new currency notes was about Rs 110 crore. The undisclosed income detected in these actions was more than Rs 5,400 crore," Mr Jaitley said.
He said digital transactions have increased to Rs 123.46 crore in December 2016, from Rs 71.27 crore in October 2016. However, it has come down to Rs 111.45 crore in May 2017.
"Fake Indian currency note was dealt a heavy crippling blow by demonetisation. No high quality counterfeit new currency notes have been seized by any agency post demonetisation," he said.
Mr Jaitley said a large amount of currency notes not part of the formal financial system have been deposited with the banks, leading to strengthening of deposit base of financial institutions.
Also, increased cash availability has led the banks to reduce the marginal cost of funds-based lending rate by up to 0.90 per cent, enabling the reduction in interest rates on loans.