The finance ministry on Thursday ruled out opening another window for depositing the scrapped Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, with the government now saying that it had expected all the annulled currency to be returned, in line with the latest RBI data.
While the Reserve Bank yesterday revealed that 99 percent of the Rs 15.44 lakh crore currency junked on November 8 last year had come back, some had pleaded with the government for another window to deposit their small holding old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000.
“At this point… No way,” Economic Affairs Secretary S C Garg said when asked if people can get second window for depositing specified bank notes (SBNs) they are left with.
After the RBI statement, the ministry had yesterday stated that “the government had expected all the SBNs to come back to the banking system to become effectively usable currency”.
While the then Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi had in December last year told the Supreme Court that the government had expected only Rs 10-11 lakh crore to be returned, Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia had on December 7 tweeted: “Did not make prediction that govt expects all demonetised money to come back to the system.”
Garg said most families had high value currency notes and they used it for making payments during the pre-demonetisation era.
“I think there was a clear expectation that much of it would come back. Whether all of it would come, people had different estimates and guesses. But the Centre never said that it expects any currency not to come back,” he said.
He said the government had not made any statement on not expecting all of the money to return back.
“I don’t think government ever made any statement in Parliament or other otherwise or as part of an affidavit” he added.
Asked about AG’s statement in the Supreme Court, he said it was an opinion.