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After two years of denial, govt admits death due to demonetisation

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New Delhi, Dec 19: The Central government on Wednesday admitted the death of people in connection with the November 2016 demonetisation drive, saying four people, including three bank staff and one customer, died were paid compensation as well.

Demonetisation

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, laying out the details in response to a question in Rajya Sabha, has admitted that State Bank of India reported these four deaths. "State Bank of India has reported that three staff members and one customer died during the period of demonetisation," stated Jaitley's answer.

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The minister's response came to a question by CPI(M) MP Elamaram Kareem, who asked about the number of persons, including bank workers, who had lost their lives during demonetisation by standing in queues for changing currency, mental shock, work pressure etc.

The cost of printing currency notes escalated to Rs 7,965 crore in 2016-17, the year when the government had banned the high-value 500 and 1,000 rupee bills, the government informed parliament on Tuesday.

Also, the printing cost came down to a substantial Rs 4,912 crore in the following year 2017-18 when the RBI had sufficed the shortage of bank notes which was caused due to the government's demonetisation move.

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The expenditure on pri¬nting of notes during 2015-16 (the year prior to demonetisation) was Rs 3,421 crore, finance minister Arun Jaitley said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.

"Rs 79.65 billion (Rs 7,965 crore) and Rs 49.12 billion (Rs 4,912 crore) were spent on printing of banknotes in the year 2016-17 and 2017-18, respectively. In addition, Rs 1.09 billion (Rs 109 crore), Rs 1.47 billion ( Rs 147 crore) and Rs 1.15 billion (Rs 115 crore) were spent on remittance of currency in the year 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18, respectively," Parliament was informed.

The minister's reply was in regard to details sought on expenditure incurred by the reserve bank for calling back Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes and destroying them.

Prime minister Narendra Modi had announced the de¬¬monetisation of high-val¬ue notes on Nov 8, 2016, which wiped out nearly 86 per cent of the total currency notes in circulation.

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