India to withdraw highest-value banknotes from circulation

India's central bank has announced it will withdraw the largest-denomination banknotes from circulation.

The Reserve Bank of India said on Friday that people can continue using 2,000-rupee banknotes for now, but they should exchange them into smaller denominations or deposit them at banks by September 30.

Two thousand rupees is worth about 24 dollars.

The 2,000-rupee banknote was introduced in 2016 when India abruptly scrapped 1,000-rupee notes, the largest denomination at that time, as well as 500-rupee notes.

Authorities said the aim was to prevent counterfeiting and tax evasion, but the decision threw the country's economy into turmoil.

The scrapping of the two notes, along with the coronavirus pandemic, have helped promote electronic payment systems via smartphones in India.

The central bank said the number of 2,000-rupee notes currently in circulation has fallen by half from its peak.

The announcement has been accepted calmly on social media. Some users say they can do without the 2,000-rupee notes, or they cannot remember when they last saw one.