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Demonetisation: Banks open today, will exchange notes only for own customers; senior citizens exempted

Banks will only exchange the Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes for their own customers and senior citizens on Saturday, Indian Banks' Association (IBA) said here on Friday.

India TV Business Desk, New Delhi [ Updated: November 19, 2016 8:57 IST ]
A bank employee applys ink to a customer on exchange of Rs
A bank employee applys ink to a customer on exchange of Rs 500, Rs 1,000 notes

Banks will only exchange the Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes for their own customers and senior citizens on Saturday, Indian Banks' Association (IBA) said here on Friday.

Announcing the decision, IBA chairman Rajeev Rishi, however, said that senior citizens are exempted and they can go to any bank branch to exchange notes.

"All these days our own customers have suffered because we have not been able to do their work. So, we have seen lot of pending work at branches especially for our existing customers. We, from IBA, have taken a view that tomorrow, that is, on Saturday, we shall be exclusively doing work for our own customers. And tomorrow we will not be doing exchange of notes (for outside customers)," Rishi said.

The IBA decision is only for Saturday and from Monday onwards all customers will be allowed to exchange notes at a branch of any bank.

Commenting on the recent introduction of indelible ink marks on index fingers of those exchanging notes, Rajiv said, "Using indelible ink reduced queues substantially, it has come down to 40% of what it was initially".

Since Wednesday, banks have started applying indelible ink mark on the right hand index finger of customers in the select metro cities to stop repeat money exchangers thronging banks with invalid currency notes.

Earlier in the day, the government had warned that those who have allowed others to deposit money in their bank accounts, will be prosecuted for abetment under the Income Tax Act.

The Finance Ministry's directive comes against the backdrop of reports that some are using other persons' bank accounts to convert their black money into new denomination notes. If it is established that the money deposited in bank account does not belong to the account holder, it would be subject to tax, interest and 200 per cent penalty.

Since Prime Minister Narendra Modi's surprise announcement on November 8 to demonetise higher denomination notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000, banks and ATMs across the country have been witnessing serpentine queues to exchange now-invalid currency notes. Last week, banks across the country were open on both Saturday and Sunday to help the sudden currency crisis in the economy.

 

On Thursday, the government halved the limit of exchange of defunct notes to Rs 2,000. With effect from today, individuals can exchange invalid 500 and 1,000 rupee notes totalling Rs 2,000, as against Rs 4,500 earlier, till December 30.

 

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