Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says govt hasn't stopped banks from filling Rs 2000 notes in ATMs
The finance minister says banks make assessment of amount and denominational requirements for ATMs on the basis of past usage
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman informed Parliament on Monday that banks have not been instructed not to fill Rs 2,000 notes in automated teller machines (ATMs) and it is lenders prerogative to choose currency notes for leading vending machines.
"No instructions have been given to banks for not filling ₹2000 notes in Automated Teller Machines (ATMs). Banks make their own assessment of amount and denominational requirement for ATMs on the basis of past usage, consumer requirement, seasonal trend, etc," the minister said in the reply to a starred question raised by Member of Parliament, Santosh Kumar.
Kumar has also asked whether, as per some data, 9.21 lakh crores worth of currency notes of Rs. 500 and Rs. 2000 denominations issued after demonetisation have gone out of circulation.
Replying to the question, the finance minister said, "As per Annual Reports of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the total value of ₹500 and ₹2000 denomination banknotes in circulation as on end-March 2017 and as on end-March 2022 were 9.512 lakh crore and ₹27.057 lakh crore."
Kumar has also asked about the date since when the RBI stopped printing currency notes of the Rs. 2000 denomination.
Referring to RBI Annual Reports, the minister said that the indent for supply of ₹2000 denomination banknotes has not been placed from 2019-20 onwards.
Finance minister informs about government liabilities
In replying to a question about the central government's liabilities, the finance minister said that the total amount of the central government's debt/liabilities is estimated at about Rs 155.8 lakh crore (57.3 per cent of GDP) as of March 31, 2023.
She further said that out of it, external debt valued at the current exchange rate is estimated at Rs 7.03 lakh crore (2.6 per cent of GDP).
"Share of external debt is only about 4.5 per cent of total debt/liabilities of the central government and less than 3 per cent of GDP. External debt is mostly financed by multilateral and bilateral agencies at concessional rates. Therefore, the risk profile stands out as safe and prudent," she said.
The minister informed that the RBI, in consultation with the central government, has announced various measures recently to diversify and expand the sources of forex funding to mitigate exchange rate volatility and global spillovers, she said.
It included, "fresh FCNR(B) and NRE deposits were exempted from the extant regulation on interest rates (i.E. Interest rates shall not be higher than those offered by the banks on comparable domestic rupee term deposits) till October 31, 2022."
(with inputs from PTI)
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