THOUGHTLESS MOVE?: The move claims to get back black money and thwart counterfeiters, but has caused hardships particularly in rural areas and has raised questions about corporate loan defaulters and big fish with money stashed abroad

The Reserve Bank of India has issued a release with Frequently Asked Questions about the demonetisation of `1,000 and `500

By Tushar Dhara

Why has the measure been taken?

The incidence of fake Indian currency notes in higher denomination has increased. For ordinary persons, the fake notes look similar to genuine ones, even though no security feature has been copied. The fake notes are used for anti-national and illegal activities.

High denomination notes have been misused by terrorists and for hoarding black money. India remains a cash-based economy. Hence the circulation of fake Indian currency notes continues to be a menace. In order to contain the rising incidence of fake notes and black money, the scheme to withdraw has been introduced.

What is this scheme?

The legal tender character of the notes in denominations of `500 and `1000 stands withdrawn. The withdrawn old high denomination (OHD) notes cannot be used for transacting business and/or as a store of value. They can be exchanged for value at any of the 19 offices of the Reserve Bank of India or at any bank branches, head post office or sub-post office.

How much value will I get?

You will get the entire value for the volume of notes tendered at the bank branches/RBI offices.

Can I get all in cash?

No. You will get up to `4000 per person in cash irrespective of the size of tender and anything over that will be receivable by way of credit to your bank account.

Why can’t I get the entire amount in cash when I have surrendered everything in cash?

The scheme does not provide for it, given its objectives.

`4,000 cash is insufficient for my needs. What do I do?

You can use the balance in your bank accounts to pay for other requirements by cheque or through electronic means of payment such as internet banking, mobile wallets, IMPS, credit/debit cards, etc.

What if I don’t have a bank account?

You can always open a bank account by approaching a bank branch with necessary documents required for fulfilling the KYC requirements.

What if I have only a Jan Dhan Yojna account?

A JDY account holder can avail the exchange facility subject to the caps and other laid down limits in accordance with norms and procedures.

Where can I go to exchange the notes?

The exchange facility is available at all issue offices of the RBI and commercial banks / regional rural banks / urban cooperative banks / state co-operative banks or at any head post office or sub-post office.

Do I need to go to my bank branch only?

For exchange up to `4000 in cash you may go to any bank branch with valid identity proof. For exchange over `4000, which will be credited to the bank account, you have to go to the branch where you have an account or to any branch of the same bank.

In case you want to go to a branch of any other bank where you do not have an account, you will have to furnish valid identity proof and bank account details required for electronic fund transfer to your account.

I have no account but my relative/friend has an account. Can I get my notes exchanged into that account?

Yes, you can do that if the relative/friend gives you permission in writing. While exchanging, you should provide to the bank evidence of permission given by the account holder and your valid identity proof.

Should I go to the bank personally or can I send the notes through my representative?

Personal visit to the branch is preferable. In case it is not possible, you may send your representative with written authorisation. The representative should produce an authority letter and his/her valid identity proof while tendering the notes.

Can I withdraw from the ATM?

It may take a while for the banks to recalibrate their ATMs. Once the ATMs are functional, you can withdraw up to a maximum of `2,000 per card per day up to November 18, 2016. The limit will be raised to `4000 per day per card from November 19, 2016 onwards.

Can I withdraw cash against cheque?

Yes, you can withdraw cash against a withdrawal slip or cheque subject to a ceiling of `10,000 in a day within an overall limit of `20,000 in a week (including withdrawals from ATMs) for the first fortnight i.e. up to November 24, 2016.

Can I deposit withdrawn notes through ATMs, cash deposit machine or cash recycler?

Yes, demonetised notes can be deposited in cash deposit machines/cash recyclers.

Can I make use of electronic (NEFT/RTGS /IMPS/Internet banking/mobile banking) mode?

You can use NEFT/RTGS/IMPS / Internet banking / mobile banking or any other electronic / non-cash mode of payment.

How much time do I have to exchange the notes?

The scheme closes on December 30, 2016. The demonetised bank notes can be exchanged at commercial bank branches, regional rural banks, urban cooperative banks, state cooperative banks and RBI until December 30, 2016.

For those unable to exchange their OHD notes on or before December 30, 2016, an opportunity will be given to them to do so at specified offices of the RBI, along with necessary documentation as may be specified by the RBI.

I am not in India right now. What should I do?

If you have demonetised bank notes in India, you may authorise in writing enabling another person in India to deposit the notes into your bank account. The person has to come to the bank branch with the demonetised bank notes, the authority letter given by you and a valid identity proof

I am an NRI and hold NRO account. Can the exchange value be deposited in my account?

Yes, you can deposit the demonetised bank notes to your NRO account.

I am a foreign tourist who has demonetised notes. What should I do?

You can purchase foreign exchange equivalent to `5000 using the demonetised notes at airport exchange counters within 72 hours after the notification, provided you present proof of purchasing the demonetised notes.

I have emergency needs (hospitalisation, travel, life saving medicines) that require cash. What should I do?

You can use the demonetised notes at government hospitals, at government bus stands for travel by state government buses, at railway stations for train tickets, and at airports for flight tickets for 72 hours after the notification.

What is proof of identity?

Any of the following is valid: Aadhaar card, drivers license, voter ID card, passport, NREGA card, PAN card, identity card issued by government departments or public sector units to its staff.

Where can I get more information on this scheme?

Further information is available on and the government of India website or call the RBI control room on 022-22602201 and 022-22602944

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