Long queues were seen at bank branches across Hyderabad. People started arriving even before the banks opened.
Though it was announced that the banks will open at 8 a.m., the transactions started only at 9 a.m. While some banks like ICICI opened the doors for public at 9 a.m., many public sector banks had not opened even at 10 a.m.
NEW DELHI: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) launched new Rs. 500 and Rs. 2,000 currency notes from today. People have been queuing outside banks since morning to get their hands on the new currency denominations.
“The decision to cancel the legal tender scatters of 500 and 1000 rupees note is a very bold, powerful and decisive step to fight the menace of black money and the use of fake Indian currency notes. Counter fate fake Indian currency notes for financing terrorism. RBI will release new currency notes with new features, designs and dimensions from 10 November onwards,” Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das said while unveiling the new notes on Monday.
The RBI yesterday stated that the banks will remain open for public even on the weekend i.e. November 12 and 13 to deal with rush of people wanting to deposit the defunct currency bills.
Banks and ATMs were shut yesterday to remove old Rs. 500/1000 notes and stock them with lower denomination and new hard-to- fake Rs. 500 and Rs 2,000 currency notes.
The new notes come loaded with enhanced security features, besides having peculiar colour, theme and size which differentiate the new bills from the earlier series.
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said that the government's decision will move the country towards a cashless economy.
Reassuring the people that those having lawful money would have nothing to fear, Jaitley said this is a major setback to the parallel black money economy because a lot of currency operating outside the system will now have to be brought into the banking system.
“The government believes that this decision has been welcomed everywhere. This major step with help India's credibility," he added.
The Finance Minister further said this decision will change the way people spend and keep their money.
“It will take India towards a cashless economy, it doesn't merely push the country in that direction, but significantly pushes it,” he added.
He also said the decision is of significant advantage to the economy, adding both the Centre and states will benefit from with more revenue accruing in the economic system.
The customers received the new note with curiosity but the problems remained in the market with severe shortage of change since Wednesday.
Though there was no limit on deposit, for big amounts the banks were insisting on PAN number. Those drawing Rs 10,000 from their bank accounts were also asked to produce their identity proof.
Long queues were also seen at the Reserve Bank of India's regional office at Saifabad. Some people including contractors were carrying more than Rs 4,000 and were requesting the officials for exchange so that they can make the payments for labourers. However, the officials expressed their inability to give exchange for more than the prescribed limit.
(with inputs from IANS)