The government’s sudden move to scrap 500 and 1000 rupee notes has meant long queues and anxious moments for those holding the old currencies and strapped for cash. So even as people across the country express mixed opinions with chaos in many parts, the Narendra Modi government has announced that they have extended the date of accepting old notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 for certain services till November 24.
Here are a few things you should know as you grapple for cash.
1) While the old exemption list of using the old notes at government hospitals, pharamacies, petrol pumps, airports have been maintained, several new categories have been added with restrictions. For a full view of the list, please click here.
2) The limit to exchange the now defunct Rs 500 and Rs 1000 rupee notes for freshly minted Rs 2000 and Rs 500 notes was increased from Rs 4000 to Rs 4500 per day. The Rs 10,000 limit of daily withdrawal using cheques has also been done away with and the weekly withdrawal limit has been increased from Rs 20,000 to Rs 24,000.
3) Economic Affairs Secretary Shakitkanta Das has said separate queues will be implemented at banks to ease congestion at banks. This means banks will now have to take measures to implement separate queues for senior citizens and differently-abled citizens. The last date for submission of the annual life certificate for the government pensioners which is to be submitted in November every year has been extended up to January 15, 2017.
4) Shaktikanta Das also informed reporters at a press briefing of the setting up of a special task force to expedite the process of recalibrating the ATMs. RBI Deputy Governor will chair the task force which will also have representation from the Ministry of Home Affairs, financial services and banks.
5) More micro ATMs will be set-up and its functioning will be strengthened. But the government failed to explain how this will benefit when the existing 2 lakh ATMs are not able to dispense cash at a consistent level.
6) According to the finance ministry, in the first four days upto November 13th ( from November 10th to 13th , upto 5 pm) about Rs 3 lakh crores of old Rs.500/- and Rs.1000/- bank notes have been deposited in the banking system and about Rs 50,000 crores has been dispensed to customers by either withdrawal from their accounts or withdrawal from ATM’s or by exchange at the counter. Within these four days, the banking system has handled about 18 crore transactions.
7) New 2000 rupee notes will be available in ATMs from today or tomorrow. The ATMs will be calibrated to accomodate the new notes, the finance ministry said.