Of the Rs 15.41 lakh crore worth Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes in circulation on November 8, 2016, when the note ban was announced, notes worth Rs 15.31 lakh crore have been returned.
One of the primary justifications behind demonetisation was that the Indian economy was suffering from a prevalence of fake or counterfeit notes.
This means that just Rs 10,720 crore of the junked currency notes did not return to the banking system. But new notes could not be printed fast enough, and the policy sparked a months-long currency crunch that left tens of millions of Indians cashless or standing in line for hours each day to retrieve small sums of cash.
However, data from the central bank's annual report on Wednesday showed 15.3 trillion rupees, or 99.3 percent, of the banknotes were returned, suggesting there was hardly any unaccounted wealth held in cash.
The RBI transferred 500 billion rupees to the government as a dividend in the accounting year that began July 1, 2017. "That alone was a loss of Rs 2.25 lakh crore [2.25tn] a year". The thinking behind this theory was that if a certain amount of the demonetised currency didn't come back into the system - if it was dumped in a river or burnt to ashes because its owners were afraid of being caught with black money - it would reduce the RBI's liabilities.
The Reserve Bank of India finally revealed the quantum of notes that have returned into the system post the Demonetization. The RBI says the indent for 2017-18 was higher by 9.1 per cent as compared to previous year.
In March 2017, the share of Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 currency notes, in value terms, accounted for 72.7% of the total value of banknotes in circulation. There was, however, a 2.1% increase in the volume of banknotes.
The process of verifying banned notes involved working in two shifts under strenuous conditions, maintaining detailed records and planning effectively without compromising on other functions of currency management. "This works out to around 88% of its underlying three-year-trend had there been no demonetisation", the central bank notes.
A man counts 500 and 1000 Indian rupee banknotes outside a branch of Bank of India in Mumbai, India, November 10, 2016.
The government replaced old Rs 500 notes with new ones, but no replacement for Rs 1,000 notes have been made.
"I suspect that the bulk of the Rs 13,000 crore is in Nepal and Bhutan and some that was lost or destroyed".
During the reporting financial year, 522,783 pieces of counterfeit notes were detected in the banking system, which was 31.4 per cent lower than in the previous year.