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Rs 500 notes worth Rs 3,000 crore printed every day: Economic affairs secretary

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MANILA: Currencies in 500, 200 and 100 denominations are comfortable mode for transactions and the printing of Rs 500 notes have been ramped-up to about Rs 3,000 crore everyday to take care of extra demand, economic affairs secretary Subhash Chandra Garg said.

He said the cash situation in the country is “quite comfortable” and extra demand is being fully met.

Speaking to PTI, Garg also said the fundamentals of economy does not call for an interest rate hike at the moment as there has not been any “disproportionate rise in inflation” or “extra ordinary growth in output”.

The secretary said he had reviewed the cash situation in the country last week and 85 per cent of the ATMs was functional.

“Overall in the country, I think its (cash situation) quite comfortable. There is enough cash which is being supplied and there is extra demand which is being fully met. I don’t think there is any cash related crisis or problem at this point of time,” Garg said.

There are about Rs 7 lakh crore of Rs 2,000 notes in circulation, which is more than adequate and and so no new Rs 2,000 notes are being issued.

“500 and 200 and 100 rupee note is people’s medium of transaction. That’s what people use, people don’t find Rs 2,000 rupee note as a very comfortable medium for making transaction. 500 rupee notes is very adequately supplied. We have ramped up production to the level that it is about Rs 2,500-3000 crore a day. So, that is much more than any demand. People’s need for transaction is being taken care of by these,” he said.

The Reserve Bank has been strengthening the security features of currency notes to ensure that they are not duplicated.

“In last 2.5 years, there has been much less instances, almost non existent instances, of high quality fake notes being reported in the country. But still RBI keeps on reviewing, finding out, adding new features,” Garg said.

Asked about a monetary policy committee member favouring withdrawal of accommodative stance, he said: “We should go by what the real numbers are. Have you seen disproportionate rise in inflation numbers? Have you seen extra ordinary growth in output which has reduced the output gap substantially? No. So, one should go by the fundamentals and wait for next policy announcement”.

The next meeting of MPC is scheduled on June 4-5.

The six-member Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), headed by RBI Governor Urjit Patel, had last month left the benchmark repo rate unchanged at 6 per cent for the third time in a row.

As per the minutes of the MPC meeting, RBI Deputy Governor Viral Acharya favoured withdrawal of monetary accommodation in the next policy review meet.

The retail inflation in March slipped to a 5 month low of 4.27 per cent on account of decline in food prices.

The RBI has revised downwards forecast for retail inflation to 4.7-5.1 per cent for April-September and 4.4 per cent for October-March.

“If there is any real situation where inflation seems to overshoot, RBI does have a statutory mandate to keep the inflation around 4 per cent, so they would take the most appropriate steps for that. But is the situation there? That is the situation we need to see,” Garg said.

Updated: May 6, 2018 — 8:26 am

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