Mumbai: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Friday clarified that it will allow exchange of old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes at its counters up to the limits applicable per person, even though this facility has been withdrawn from bank branches. RBI, however, did not set any last date for such exchanges.
The announcement comes a day after the government said that it will stop exchange facilities for the old Rs500 and Rs1,000 notes.
As per the RBI limits, a person could have exchanged up to Rs2,000 worth currency at branches of commercial banks, regional rural banks, urban cooperative banks, state cooperative banks and the central bank offices, starting 18 November. This was a one-time exchange facility, which the banking regulator had offered. The RBI had allowed exchange worth Rs4,000 at bank branches and its counters, prior to this.
“It has been observed that over the counter exchange of the old currency notes of Rs500 and Rs1,000 denomination has shown a declining trend,” the finance ministry said in a statement on Thursday.
“It has further been felt that people may be encouraged and facilitated to deposit their old Rs500 and Rs1,000 notes in their bank accounts. This will encourage people who are still unbanked to open new bank accounts. Consequently, there will be no over the counter exchange of old Rs500 and Rs1,000 notes after midnight of 24.11.2016.”
On Thursday, the central bank too had put out a notification stating that over the counter exchange of currency notes had been discontinued. “Members of public who approach the banks for over the counter exchange of SBN (specialised bank notes) may be encouraged to deposit SBNs into their bank accounts,” the RBI notification had said on Thursday.