Andy Mukherjee, Columnist

India Is Once Again Making Money a Plaything

The manner in which the central bank is retiring the 2,000 rupee bill has reignited memories of the monumental disaster of demonetization in 2016.

Sovereign cash.

Photographer: Prakash Singh/Bloomberg

When it comes to money, ignorance is bliss. For the second time in recent years, India seems to have disregarded this maxim.

In November 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi shocked the world by outlawing the 500 ($6) and 1,000 rupee bills in which the country held 86% of its cash. This time, the coup de grâce has fallen on the 2,000 rupee banknote. Since it accounts for only 11% of the currency in circulation, and people have until Sept. 30 to change them into other denominations, it’s not as big a problem as the draconian ban back then. Besides, in recent years, India’s retail payments have digitized dramatically. People with smartphones have options outside the world of paper money.

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India Is Once Again Making Money a Plaything