All restrictions on cash withdrawals from savings bank accounts imposed on November 8 after the withdrawal of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes will be removed from March 13, the Reserve Bank of India said Wednesday after reviewing the pace of remonetisation in the country.
Earlier, the RBI had removed all curbs on branch withdrawals from current account, cash credit and overdraft accounts on January 30, and limits placed on daily cash withdrawals from ATMs from February 1. But the RBI had retained the weekly withdrawal limit of Rs 24,000 on savings bank accounts despite the Election Commission writing to the central bank to ease the weekly limits for candidates contesting assembly polls in five states.
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The RBI now plans to lift the current restrictions in two stages. It will first allow cash withdrawals upto Rs 50,000 from savings bank account from February 20 and then remove all restrictions on cash withdrawals from March 13.
RBI Deputy Governor R Gandhi said Rs 9.92 lakh crore notes, comprising all denominations, are in circulation in the country as of January 27. The RBI said it is still in the process of compiling data on the notes of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 that have come back to banks post demonetisation.
S S Mundra, also a Deputy Governor, said: “We are still compiling the data on old notes. There are 4,000 currency chests in India. Apart from this, the RBI keeps currency in 19 other places. The currency travels between these chests and the RBI. After December 30, the RBI had asked all banks to compile data on these old currencies and the RBI team has also finished checking that data on sample basis. The process of reconciliation of the accounts are on. We hope that this will get over in some time.”
Mundra said that certain things such as data on cash taken by co-operative banks, being compiled by Nabard; Indian currency in Nepal and Bhutan as a part of an arrangement with these countries and the March 31 and June 30 windows which allow some people to deposit old currency, are expected to remain open-ended for some time. “We will be able to give the final number on inflow of abolished currency into banks only after taking all of this into account,” Mundra said.
After withdrawing the legal tender status of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, the RBI changed the withdrawal limits several times. Initially, it had slapped curbs on cash withdrawals and set a daily withdrawal limit of Rs 2,500 from the ATMs and Rs 24,000 from bank accounts per day from November 10.
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