New Delhi: Currency notes in circulation stood at Rs 21.71 lakh crore at May-end 2019, showing an increase of more than 22 per cent over the pre-demonetisation level. As per a written reply given by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the Rajya Sabha Tuesday, the notes in circulation as on November 4, 2016 were Rs 17,74,187 crore, which have now increased to Rs 21,71,385 crore as on May 31, 2019. In a shock decision, the government had decided to demonetised old Rs 500/1,000 notes on November 8, 2016. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in SepSitharaman said the notes in circulation had grown at an average growth rate of 14.51 per cent year on year wise since October 2014. “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 demonetisation, the minister said, 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 objectives. Also Read – Ensure strict implementation on ban of import of e-cigarettes: revenue to CustomsSitharaman further said that as reported by the RBI, 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. Hence, demonetisation resulted in curbing of the counterfeit currency, she added. The minister further said a significant growth has been observed in digital transactions in the country post demonetisation. Growth of digital transactions in terms of value has increased to 188.07 lakh crore in September 2018 from 112.27 lakh crore in November 2016.