India's Finance Ministry has suddenly stopped the facility of swapping the old currency notes with the new ones at banks, limiting it to the branches of the RBI.
Indian government has withdrawn over-the-counter exchange of old Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 currency notes in banks. This facility will now only be available at the branches of India’s central bank, Reserve Bank of India.
“The Reserve Bank of India advises members of public that exchange of banknotes in Rs 500 and Rs 1000 denominations, whose legal tender status has been withdrawn, will continue to be available at the counters of the Reserve Bank up to the current limits per person as hitherto,” the RBI said in its updated guidelines.
So far, people could exchange the old currency notes valuing up to Rs. 2000 for new currency notes at all banks. However, India’s finance ministry on Thursday withdrew this facility.
Now on, old currency notes of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 can only be deposited in the bank accounts and new notes can be withdrawn from the ATMs. The government of India says the step has been taken to encourage people to open bank accounts and deposit the old notes.
The ministry has also said that foreign citizens are allowed to exchange up to Rs. 5000 per week. An entry of this transaction will be made in their passports.
The opposition parties have been attacking the government in and out of the country's parliament over the issue of demonetisation. On Thursday, former prime minister of India, Dr Manmohan Singh, who is also a noted economist, termed demonetisation by the current Indian government an "organised loot".
Many among the common masses are also scathingly critical of the government's "poor execution" of the plan. However, sone have still managed to retain their wit.
But, it's not difficult to find people who, despite having to spend hours in never-ending ATM queues to withdraw their own money, still support the move.
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