Govt agencies, utilities cash in on the cash ban

Published: 18th November 2016 01:38 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th November 2016 03:25 AM   |  A+A-


A father-son duo is all smiles after exchanging currency notes at Seshadripuram Post Office in Bengaluru on Thursday | S Manjunth

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: The demonetisation move has forced hundreds to queue up at bank branches and ATMs for hours or completely depend on debit and credit cards. For government agencies, this has been the perfect opportunity to collect dues, bills, taxes as several of them are still accepting Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes.
The Union Finance Ministry had recently announced that the demonetised notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 will be accepted till November 24. Followed this announcement, many government agencies encouraged residents to pay up their dues, taxes and bills.

M K Gunashekar, chairman of the BBMP Standing Committee on Taxation and Finance, said they have been accepting demonetised notes. “We did it for two days -- November 12 and 14. In just two days, BBMP collected Rs 2.5 crore as property tax. We also collected Rs 2 crore betterment charges. Now that the Centre has announced some exemption for Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, we will accept old notes till November 24,” he said.
Gunashekar added that they have also instructed Assistant Revenue Officers to urge the big tax defaulters to pay their dues. “As we are accepting old currency notes, there are chances that we might be able to retrieve a part of the dues. We are making best use of this situation to collect dues,” he said.

BMTC too is accepting demonetised notes for monthly bus passes till November 24. Commuters will have to produce ID proof for this facility.

BWSSB has also made a public announcement that it will accept demonetised notes for bill payments. In a press release, BSNL said Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes will be accepted for the present outstanding amount for landline and mobile bills. BMRCL is also accepting old currency notes and this is valid till their next circular.

Advance Payment
A senior advocate, on anonymity, paid his prepaid Bescom bill at a office near Wilson Garden for the next one year. Bescom officials accepted it, but later rejected the payment.
“His monthly bill is around Rs 2,600 and he paid Rs 25,000 for the next one year with Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes,” said a Bescom official.

Mahesh, who works with a private firm, said his household electricity bill was Rs 570. “When I paid using Rs 1,000 note, Bescom staff did not gave back the change. They took the remaining Rs 430 as advance payment,” he added. A Bescom official many residents have paid bills in advance following the demonestisation move.

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