NEW DELHI: If you have been waiting till the last minute to deposit your demonetised notes, here’s some bad news. The Reserve Bank of India issued a notification on Monday imposing severe restrictions on deposits of banned notes over Rs 5,000. According to it, any amount over Rs 5,000 can be deposited only once per account till December 30. That too, after explaining the reason for delay to bank officials.
The rules would also apply if cumulative deposits into a single account exceed the Rs 5,000 limit. However, there is no limit imposed on deposit of demonetised notes under the latest income disclosure scheme - the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana. But doing so would entail a 50 per cent black money tax.
While supporters hailed the move, saying it would curb black money from entering the system, critics claim the government has broken its promise and misled honest citizens. While announcing the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes on November 8, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had assured the public that there would be no limit on the money one can deposit in their bank accounts.
“Persons holding old Rs 500 or Rs 1,000 notes can deposit these notes in their bank or post office accounts from 10th November till close of banking hours on 30th December 2016 without any limit. There is no need for panic. Your money will remain yours,” Modi had said. This was followed up by the Finance Minister on November 11, who assured the public that there was sufficient time to exchange or deposit banned notes and there was no need for panic.
Those who took the government’s advice are now in a fix. While the move could have an impact on black money flowing into the system, it could also hassle honest citizens waiting for the crowd to ease before depositing their money, say experts.
The RBI has further said the one-time deposit above Rs 5,000 has to be made in front of two bank officials. Depositors would also have to explain the reason for the delay to the officials who would keep them on record for an audit trail. Considering the number of financial crimes reportedly committed by bankers after note ban, it is not clear why the RBI has entrusted them with the role of an investigator.