A day after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced it will transfer Rs 30,659 crore as surplus to the government for the year ended June 2017, former Finance Minister P Chidambaram slammed the government’s demonetisation move yet again. In a post on Twitter, Chidambaram said another Rs 50,000 crore should be added as the cost of note ban move that was implemented by the Centre last year. “Cost of demonetisation: Add another Rs 50,000 crore revealed by RBI,” the Congress leader said.
His remarks came as the amount of dividend revealed by the RBI was less than half of the dividend transferred by RBI to the government a year earlier. Chidambaram further asked RBI if it will reveal breakdown of the Rs 50,000 crore loss/expenditure. “Will RBI reveal breakdown of the Rs 50000 crore loss/expenditure? Will RBI also tell us cost of destroying old notes and cost of printing new/replacement notes?,” he wrote in another tweet.
For the year 2015-16, the RBI had approved the transfer of surplus amounting to Rs 65, 876 crore to the government. A year later, the central Bank paid Rs 65, 896 crore to the government, which helped it in covering the deficit. The reason for the steep fall in the surplus income was not provided by the RBI.
The Central Government, last year, in a bid to defunct illegal money, scrapped high currency notes, belonging to denomination of Rs 500 and Rs 1000, which paved the way for potential surplus transfer from the RBI due to demonetisation. As per the Specified Bank Notes (Cessation of Liabilities) Act, 2017, the scrapped currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 (as announced on November 8 last year) “shall cease to be liabilities of the RBI under section 34 of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934 and shall cease to have the guarantee of the Central Government under sub-section (1) of section 26 of the said Act”.