Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s sudden announcement to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes in circulation, though welcomed by people across the country, has left many in the lurch and utter state of confusion. Millions of consumers have been desperately queuing up outside banks and ATMs to exchange old notes for new ones or withdraw cash.
Despite facing the opposition’s mounting ire, the Prime Minister, in an impassioned plea had earlier urged the people to support the move while asking them to bear the “pain for 50 days” to help him deliver the “India of your dreams”. He had also warned that several other steps were in the offing to curb the menace of corruption.
In a sharp contrast to the peaceful discussion on Wednesday, the Congress-led opposition the next day launched a relentless attack on the ruling dispensation over the raging debate on demonetisation, leading to disruptions in both Houses of Parliament.
The opposition parties had refused to allow Rajya Sabha to function unless the Prime Minister responds to their questions on the currency move that “has caused hardship to the common man”. The Lok Sabha also witnessed noisy disruptions, with the opposition demanding a discussion under a rule that mandates voting.
Here is a timeline of what has happened so far:
Exchange cap on old notes
Nov-8: Rs 4,000 (to be reviewed after 15 days)
Nov-9: All Banks closed
Nov-13: Limit increased to Rs 4,500
Nov-15: Indelible ink to be used
Nov-16: Select bank branches begin use of ink
Nov-17: Limit cut to Rs 2,000
Cap on withdrawal from bank accounts
Nov-8: Rs 10,000 per day and Rs 20,000 per week
Nov-9: All banks closed
Nov-10: Banks open
Nov-13: No daily cap, Rs 24,000 per week
Nov-14: Current account holders can withdraw Rs 50,000 per week
Nov-17: Farmers (who have taken crop loan or have kisan credit card) can withdraw Rs 25,000 per week. Also if the farmers receive kharif payments by cheques or RTGS, they can draw up to Rs 25,000 per week. Families can withdraw Rs 2.5 lakh for marriage
Deposits into an account
Nov-8: No limit
Nov-9: All Banks closed
Nov-13: No limit
Nov-15: Rs 50,000 cap for Jan Dhan accounts
Withdrawal from ATMs
Nov-8: Rs 2,000 per day (limit to be doubled from Nov 19)
Nov-13: Rs 2,500 per day for recalibrated ATMs
Exemption for utility/ govt bill payments
Nov-8: Initially for three days
Nov-11: Extended till Nov 14th
Nov-14: Extended till Nov 24th
Govt allows dispensing cash from petrol pumps
Nov 17: The government allowed dispensing cash of up to Rs 2,000 through debit card swipe at select petrol pumps in order to ease cash crunch.
(With ENS inputs)