Currency notes in circulation at the end of May 2019 stood at Rs 21.71 lakh crore, 22 percent higher than the pre-demonetisation level.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her written reply to the Rajya Sabha on 25 June said that notes in circulation as on 4 November 2016 were Rs 17,74,187 crore, which have now increased to Rs 21,71,385 crore as on 31 May 2019.
On 8 November 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the government's decision to demonitise old Rs 500 and 1,000 notes.
Sitharaman said that since October 2014, the notes in circulation grew at an average rate of 14.51 percent on a year-on-year basis.
"As actual notes in circulation on May 31, 2019 are only 21,713.85 billion, the demonetisation, followed by digitalisation and reduction of cash use in informal economy has succeeded in reducing the notes in circulation by as much as 3,408.68 billion rupees," she said.
The minister said that demonetisation was done with a view to eliminate black money, curb fake currency and thereby to create deterrence to funding of terror and left-wing extremism, facilitate transition of India's non-formal economy into a formal economy and to give boost to digitalisation, among other reasons.
She further said it has helped curb counterfeit currency. Citing RBI data she said that 7,62,072 pieces of counterfeit bank notes were detected in the banking system during 2016-17, 5,22,783 pieces in 2017-18 and 3,17,389 in 2018-19.
Sitharaman also said that a significant growth has been observed in digital transactions in the country post demonetisation. These increased to Rs 188.07 lakh crore in value in September 2018 from Rs 112.27 lakh crore in November 2016.