Issuing a fresh regulation on the deposit of old currency notes, the Finance Ministry and RBI on Monday said deposit of scrapped currency notes above Rs 5000 can be made only once per account till December 30.
As per the new RBI guidelines, the deposits can be made “only after an account holder satisfies the bank why it could not be done earlier”.
“Tenders of SBNs (Specified Bank Notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000) in excess of Rs 5,000 into a bank account will be received for credit only once during the remaining period till December 30, 2016. The credit in such cases shall be afforded only after questioning (the) tenderer, on record, in the presence of at least two officials of the bank, as to why this could not be deposited earlier and receiving a satisfactory explanation,” the RBI said.
The Finance Ministry said these restrictions will not apply to deposits of new currency notes under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana, 2016.
The RBI has also said the customer’s explanation banks officials over deposits of Rs 5000 “should be kept on record to facilitate an audit trail at a later stage”.
The new announcement contradicts the government’s earlier announcement made on November 8.
While announcing the demonetization policy on November 8, PM Narendra Modi had said: “Persons holding old notes of Rs 500 or Rs 1,000 can deposit these notes in their bank or post office accounts from November 10 till close of banking hours on December 30, 2016 without any limit. Thus, you will have 50 days to deposit your notes and there is no need for panic. After depositing your money in your account, you can draw it when you need it.”
On November 11, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had urged people not to rush in the initial days to deposits the old notes: “We do believe that there is no need to rush in the initial days because people have a lot of time till December 30 with the entire banking and post office system and therefore more the deposits and the (note) exchanges are spread out, the more will be the convenience to the people itself.”
The new regulation also sits in sharp contracts to the government’s earlier announcement that customers would not be questioned for depositing up to Rs 2.5 lakh in their individual bank accounts.