New Delhi:

Rs 2,000 currency notes have not been printed in the last two years even as the quantum of India's highest denomination currency note has come down, the Lok Sabha was informed Monday.

In a written reply, Minister of State for Finance Anurag Singh Thakur said 3,362 million currency notes of Rs 2000 denomination were in circulation on March 30, 2018, constituting 3.27 per cent and 37.26 per cent of the currency in terms of volume and trade respectively.

As of February 26, 2021, 2,499 million pieces of Rs 2,000 notes were in circulation, constituting 2.01 per cent and 17.78 per cent of banknotes in terms of volume and value, respectively.

"Printing of banknotes of a particular denomination is decided by the government in consultation with RBI to maintain desired denomination mix for facilitating transactional demand of the public.

"During the years 2019-20 and 2020-21, no indent has been placed with the presses for printing of Rs 2000 denomination banknotes," he said.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had in 2019 stated that 3,542.991 million notes of Rs 2,000 were printed during the financial year 2016-17 (April 2016 to March 2017).

However, in 2017-18, only 111.507 million notes were printed, which further reduced to 46.690 million notes in the year 2018-19.

No new Rs 2,000 currency notes were printed since April 2019.

The move is seen as an attempt to prevent hoarding of the high-value currency and thus, curb black money.

The Rs 2,000 notes were introduced in November 2016, soon after the government withdrew Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes in an attempt to curb black money and fake currencies.

While a new Rs 500 note was printed, Rs 1,000 currency notes were discontinued. Instead, Rs 2,000 note was introduced.

Besides Rs 2000, the other currency notes in circulation are of the denomination Rs 10, Rs 20, Rs 50 and Rs 100.