The new rupee notes are being printed at four mints. Together, they can print about three billion notes per month.
The mints have to replace about 14 trillion taken out of circulation. If half that value is printed in 500 rupee notes and the other half is printed in 2,000 rupee notes, the mints will have to print around 17.5 billion total notes to replace the value of the notes taken out of circulation.
To replace all of the money taken out of circulation, the mints will have to print about 17.5 billion notes, which would take about 175 days.
To replace 10 trillion, an amount the government says it expects to be returned by the people, the mints will have to print 12.5 billion pieces of banknotes, which would take about 125 days.
Printing 17.5 billion notes at a rate of three billion notes per month will take almost six months. Even if the mints began printing the replacement notes three months ago, they would still need around three more months to complete the printing.
But printing the notes is only half the battle. Once the notes are printed, they need to be distributed to banks and ATMs so they can find their way into your wallet.
Step 1: Printing presses
- One of the two printing presses responsible for churning out new 2,000 notes is located in Mysuru, Karnataka. The other is in Salboni, West Bengal.
- Two more presses — one in Dewas, Madhya Pradesh, and one in Nashik, Maharashtra — are printing 500 rupees notes to replace the old ones.
Step 2: RBI issue offices
- Once printed, the notes are transported to the 19 Reserve Bank of India issue offices in major cities across the country.
Step 3: Currency chests
- From the issue offices, the money is transported in high-security vans to more than four thousand currency chests across the country. Currency chests are operated by various banks.
Step 4: Bank branches
- Once a bank has the money in its currency chest, it can restock its bank branches in the surrounding area.
Step 5: ATMs
- From the bank branches, money is taken to nearby ATMs. Most of the country’s ATMs are not built to accommodate the new 2,000 notes. Thousands of engineers are working as fast as possible to retrofit the country’s 2.18 lakh ATMs. This enormous undertaking is expected to take a few more weeks.