Opportunity and endurance costs aside, the ongoing exercise to replace the stock of high-value currency denominations will cost the government about Rs11,000 crore in just printing costs. In 2015-16, the two high-value denominations, Rs500 and Rs1,000, made up 24.4% of currency in circulation by volume, but a steep 86.4% by value.
A guesstimate of how much it will cost the government to replace them with new paper can be worked out. In terms of printing, the government is taking a cost hit twice. One, it is effectively writing off the cost it incurred in printing the old lot: Rs5,932 crore. Two, it is incurring an additional cost in printing the new lot: Rs4,929 crore. Or, a total cost of printing of Rs10,861 crore.
Analysis by howindialives.com, a database and search engine for public data.