What can you do with your Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes
Photo Credit: Ankit Kumar/VCCircle

In a dramatic move to tackle counterfeit currency, corruption, illegal income as also terror funding, Prime Minister Narendra Modi late on Tuesday announced abolishing Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 banknotes.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) says that this move became necessary as the incidence of fake currency notes in higher denomination had gone up. Here’s how this impacts you as an individual and what you can do immediately.

These banknotes cannot be used for transacting business or as a store of value for future usage. These notes can be exchanged for value at any of the 19 offices of the RBI or at any bank branch or head post office or sub-post office. You will get full value for the entire volume of notes tendered.

So, will my bank branch accept these notes?

Yes. Banks are closed Wednesday. Later this week, you can go and deposit your old notes into your account. There is no limit on how much can be deposited in bank accounts that meet the RBI’s know your customer (KYC) norms. Of course, if you deposit unusual sum out of sync with your income, it could trigger scrutiny by tax authorities.

How much cash will you be able to withdraw?

Each person will get up to Rs 4,000 in cash irrespective of the size of tender. Anything over and above that will be credited to the individual’s bank account.

Do people need to go to their own bank branch?

To exchange up to Rs 4,000 in cash you may go to any bank branch with a valid identity proof. To exchange more than Rs 4,000, which will be accorded through credit to your bank account only, you may go to the branch where you have an account or to any other branch of the same bank. In case you want to go to a branch of any other bank where you are not maintaining an account, you must furnish a valid identity proof and bank account details required for electronic fund transfer to your account.

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

Yes, you can do that if the account holder relative, friend etc. 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 bank personally or can I send the notes through my representative?

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

Can I withdraw from an ATM?

It may take a while for the banks to recalibrate their ATMs. Once the ATMs are functional, you can withdraw from ATMs up to a maximum of Rs 2,000 per card per day up to 18 November. The limit will be raised to Rs 4,000 per day per card thereafter.

Can I withdraw cash against cheque?

Yes, you can withdraw cash against withdrawal slip or cheque subject to a ceiling of Rs 10,000 a day within an overall limit of Rs 20,000 in a week (including withdrawals from ATMs) up to 24 November, after which these limits shall be reviewed.

Can I deposit the old banknotes through ATMs, cash deposit machine or cash recycler?

Yes, you can.

Can I buy petrol and diesel at the pump? Are there any caveats besides this?

Yes. Pumps operated by all authorised dealers of government-owned oil retailers like Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum will accept the Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes for the next 72 hours. But news reports indicate that while pump operators are accepting these notes, they are reluctant to offer change for smaller amounts. This could land those people who want to tank up for amounts lower than Rs 500 or Rs 1000 in some trouble. But apart from this, they are functioning normally and you can always use your debit or credit cards to pay for fuel.  Besides this, you should have no problem getting fuel for your vehicle.

Can I use electronic (NEFT/RTGS /IMPS/ Internet Banking / Mobile banking etc.) 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?

You can exchange your old notes till 30 December 2016. Those who are unable to exchange the notes on or before 30 December, can do so at specified offices of the RBI, along with necessary documentation as may be specified by the central bank.

I am right now outside India. What should I do?

If you have the Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 banknotes in India, you may authorise, in writing, another person in India to deposit the notes into your bank account. The person so authorised must come to the bank branch with the banknotes, the authority letter given by you and a valid identity proof (Aadhaar card, driving license, voter ID card, passport, NREGA card, PAN card, identity card issued by any government department, public-sector unit to its staff).

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

Yes, you can deposit the banknotes into your NRO account.

I am a foreign tourist and have these notes. What should I do?

You can purchase foreign exchange equivalent to Rs 5,000 using these notes at airport exchange counters within 72 hours after the notification, provided you present proof of purchasing the same.

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

You can use the old notes to pay for your hospitalisation charges at government hospitals, for purchasing bus tickets at government bus stands for travel by state government buses, train tickets at railway stations, and air tickets at airports, within 72 hours after the notification. 

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