The phase of demonetisation between 9th November 2016 to 31st December 2016 is over. The economy has been fairly re-monetised as well and reports of cash shortage have almost disappeared. But there is one controversy which refuses to die down: What will happen to our dear old Rs 1000 note?
On 10th November 2016, just 2 days post the announcement, Secretary Economic Affairs Mr Shaktikanta Das had made a statement in a press conference that the Rs 1000 note would be re-introduced soon. He had said:
In the due course, in the next few months, the thousand rupee notes, will also be brought into the market, with a completely new design, new dimension, new design, new colour combination which will look distinctly different from the old ones.
This was soon followed by a statement from the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley himself where he ruled out any such plans in the immediate future. He had said on 17th November 2016:
As of now, there is no plan to reintroduce Rs 1,000 note
From both the statements, it was clear that new Rs 1000 note was not coming back at least for a few months.
However, what happens after a few months was not clear – while Mr. Das’ statement suggested the note will be back, Finance Minister’s statement didn’t give any such guarantee. Nor was it clear what constitutes these “few” months.
Finance Minister’s statement can also be interpreted that maybe there was a rethink within the Government over the efficacy of re-introducing a high denomination note, which might aide corruption. The Rs 2000 note is already being said to be on its way out sooner than later.
More recently, just yesterday, we saw a series of news reports claiming that the new Rs 1000 note was to be re-introduced soon, but the exact date was not known. Many such news reports quoted this news story in the Indian Express as the source. A similar story had been published by the Deccan Herald in January 2017 too.
To clarify on all of this, Mr Das took to Twitter today, and stated that there were no plans to introduce Rs 1000 notes:
No plans to introduce ₹1000 notes. Focus is on production and supply of ₹500 and lower denomination notes.
— Shaktikanta Das (@DasShaktikanta) February 22, 2017
This statement is almost identical to the Finance Minister’s statement in November 2016. We asked Mr Das to clarify as to why he had said in November 2016 that Rs 1000 notes would come back soon in a few months time, and are awaiting a response. Maybe he, like the Finance Minister, is ruling out a re-introduction only in the “immediate” future i.e. those “few” months have still not passed.
In the meantime, the jury is out on whether the media had cooked yet another “source” based story. Some of the reports even flashed a new design and claimed that the printing of the new Rs 1000 notes was already underway, which surely has turned out false after this tweet by Mr Das.