About Rs19.5 crore in fake currency had so far been detected during the exchange and deposit of the scrapped Rs500 and Rs1,000 currency notes at banks following the 8 November decision to withdraw their legal tender status, as per the Reserve Bank of India's provisional estimates.
Minister of state for finance Arjun Ram Meghwal informed parliament on Friday that these fake notes included more than 1.44 lakh Rs1,000 notes and just over 1.02 lakh units of the withdrawn Rs500 currency notes.
These notes were deposited at more than 1 lakh bank branches and were subsequently transferred to more than 4,000 currency chests and 19 Issue offices of the RBI, Meghwal said in a written reply.
''Verification of returned notes for counterfeit notes and accounting reconciliation is in process,'' he said.
The minister was responding to a query from 19 members of Parliament on whether the RBI or banks had received a ''good quantity of fake notes of the said denominations during demonetisation period and achieved desired success in doing away [with] the fake currency notes''.
The minister said that as of 10 December 2016, a total of Rs12.44 lakh crore of the withdrawn currency notes had been returned to the RBI and currency chests. The detected counterfeit notes at Rs19.5 crore represent 0.0016 per cent of this figure.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had cited the proliferation of counterfeit currency notes as one of the primary reasons for scrapping the old Rs500 and Rs1,000 notes as legal tender on 8 November 2016.
The total value of the withdrawn high-value currency notes that were in circulation on the day the demonetisation was announced was Rs15.44 lakh crore (with more than Rs8.58 lakh crore of this in Rs500 notes and the Rs1,000 notes amounting to about Rs6.86 lakh crore), according to Meghwal's reply.