What black money? Government may be in for shock as deposits belie expectations

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The main reason given by the government for demonetising high denomination notes was to curb black money. Various estimates have been made of the quantum of such money — which is not expected to be deposited in banks — ranging from Rs 3 lakh crore to Rs 5 lakh crore.

But if one goes by the deposit trends so far and the projections, the black money expected to be purged may be much less than expected.

On Tuesday, in a reply in Rajya Sabha, the Minister of State for Finance, Arjun Ram Meghwal, said that there were 17,165 million pieces of Rs 500 notes and 6,858 million pieces of Rs 1,000 notes in circulation on November 8, 2016, the day Modi made the announcement of demonetising the two high denomination notes.

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