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Modi's Anti-Graft Drive Hit After Indians Return 99% of Banned Notes

  • RBI report shows 15.28 trillion rupees of old notes returned
  • Jump in expenses had eaten into RBI profit, hitting dividend
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India's GDP Seen Rebounding From Cash Ban

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Indians have deposited nearly all the currency bills voided by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, denting the central bank’s profit and dealing a blow to his drive to unearth unaccounted wealth.

Banks have received 15.28 trillion rupees ($239 billion), or 99 percent of the currency invalidated, the Reserve Bank of India said in its annual report on Wednesday. The government had initially estimated about 5 trillion rupees wouldn’t be declared following the sudden move on Nov. 9, indicating that this was cash stashed away illegally to avoid tax. The cash ban prompted the central bank to print new currency, reducing its profit and cutting annual dividend payout to the government by half.