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Why the Rs 200 note is missing

The answer is right there with the ATM.

 |  3-minute read |   04-01-2018
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A visit to the automated teller machine (ATM) these days is likely to give us series of Rs 500 notes and some soiled Rs 100 notes, leaving us wondering about where the other notes - supposedly in circulation - are.

While it is clear now that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is deliberately holding back the Rs 2,000 notes to phase them out of circulation in the face of criticism from various corners, it still leaves one asking why one isn't able to lay their hands on the crispy, new Rs 200 notes.

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Well, the answer is right there with the ATM that gives us the Rs 500 and Rs 100 notes. The machines aren't recalibrated to dispense Rs 200 notes.

The wait to get the Rs 200 note may, however, soon get over with the RBI ordering banks to ensure that the new notes reach the ATMs as part of its efforts to step up the supply of lower denomination notes.

An Economic Times report, quoting sources, said that the banking industry is likely to spend more than Rs 110 crore in implementing the banking regulator's order of recalibrating 2.2 lakh ATMs in the country. The average recalibration cost per ATM is Rs 5,000. The project would involve installation of spacers to adjust the size of the currency.

Experts believe it could take about five to six months to complete the exercise smoothly.

Data shows that the total value of cash withdrawn through ATMs has risen to Rs 2.44 lakh crore at the end of September 2017 against Rs 2.22 lakh crore in September 2016.

According to RBI data, since the Narendra Modi government banned old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes on November 8, 2016, the currency in circulation has reached 95 per cent of the pre-demonetisation levels and stands at Rs 17 lakh crore.

The RBI, it is believed, has stopped printing the Rs 2,000 notes in July 2017, prioritising Rs 200 notes. The new lower-denomination currency notes were reportedly made available to banks in September, but are yet to reach people because of recalibration issues.

The shortage of lower denomination notes has been criticised by critics and public alike.

New Rs 10 notes

Even as it pushes for Rs 200 notes to reach the public, the RBI is all set to issue new Rs 10 notes. According to reports, RBI has already printed one billion Rs 10 notes. The new note will have chocolate brown as the base colour and bear the image of the Konark Sun Temple.

In August 2017, new Rs 50 and Rs 200 notes were introduced in the Mahatma Gandhi series.

Also read: How triple talaq bill will now end up preventing marriages among Muslims altogether

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