Republic Day 2017 (rehearsals)
[Representational Image]Twitter/IAF_MCC

After Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced his decision to demonetise old high-denomination currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 on November 8 last year, the Central Government had tasked Indian Air Force (IAF) to transport the currency notes to different parts of the country. 

The IAF flew 33 sorties carrying huge amount of currency notes weighing 604 tonnes in total across the country, Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre said in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.

Bhamre said the cost for transporting the currency notes to different parts of the country were assessed and realised from the concerned agencies. 

Following PM Modi's announcement, banks and ATMs across the country saw a huge number of people lining up to deposit or exchange their old currency notes for the new ones. The demonetised notes constituted 85 percent of the currency in circulation then.

PM Modi had said the decision was taken to curb the menace of black money, counterfeit currency and terrorism in the country. However, his decision drew flak from the Opposition who accused the prime minister of causing major inconvenience to the citizens. They said the move would have a major negative impact on the country's economy. 

The Winter Session of the Parliament was a complete washout due to protests by the Opposition parties who demanded that PM Modi should come to the Parliament and explain his decision. Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also criticised PM Modi's decision to demonetise the old currency notes.