The RBI stopped printing them in 2018-19. At the end of the financial year 2023, their share in the economy’s currency note circulation stood at only 10.8%—or $44.27 billion, the RBI said.

While authorities have not specified the reasons for the move, Nitsure of L&T Finance Holdings believes it was a “wise decision” ahead of state and general elections. She noted that cash usage typically spikes at the time of elections.

India’s next general election will be held around May 2024, with a string of polls to state legislative assemblies scheduled in the preceding months.

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