The Rs 2,000 note, the first new currency note and denomination to be introduced after the demonetisation exercise on November 8, 2016, is likely to be withdrawn from circulation.
Speculation surrounding the status of the currency denomination has been ongoing for months, and a report in the Business Standard mentions that ATMs across the country are being re-calibrated to prepare for a gradual withdrawal of the pink note.
The business daily reports that a “major exercise” to rejig the close to 2,40,000 Automated Teller Machines across the country has already begun, attributing their information to sources. Three out of four cassettes in ATM machines will now reportedly hold Rs 500 notes while the other is being calibrated to hold notes of Rs 100 and Rs 200.
The Rs 2000 note will still be legal tender however and the newspaper mentions that customers need not panic. The CEO of a cash logistics firm, which transport money to ATMs, told BS that the notes are slowly being pulled out of circulation and that they were necessary to re-monetise the economy following the note ban which took the country by surprise.
In November 2019, former secretary at the Department of Economic Affairs had said that a large portion of the Rs 2,000 notes were not in circulation since they were being hoarded. “The Rs 2,000 note, therefore, is not presently working as a currency of transaction,” he had mentioned.
ATM cassettes hold between 2,300 and 2,600 notes and their capacity depends on the company manufacturing the machine. The newspaper reports that machines will also have to be calibrated keeping in mind that the two versions of the Rs 100 note currently in circulation are of different dimensions. “The supply of these two kinds of notes will decide which denomination gets loaded into ATMs. Then, demand at ATMs, which varies across locations, will decide whether we load them with Rs 100 or Rs 200 notes,” a CLF executive told the newspaper.
The new notes were introduced after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on the night of November 8, 2016, that currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 would cease to be legal tender from midnight the next day. Long winding queues of people outside banks seeking to replace their old notes were a feature for the next few months with reports mentioning that over 100 deaths had been caused due to an exercise which shook the Indian economy.