Lauding Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetisation scheme, Law and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Friday said an element of surprise is necessary to control black money. “Fight against black money needs to have an element of surprise. If there is no surprise, then you cannot control black money,” Prasad said in response to query on reason for the sudden scrapping of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes in circulation.
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced the demonetisation scheme. The banks were closed on November 9 and ATMs till November 10, which led to cash crunch in the market. There were unending queues at banks, even on the second day, when they opened to exchange and collect invalid notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 across the country, with some branches running out of cash.
SBI Chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya said her bank has collected Rs 53,000 crore (from November 10 till around 2 pm on November 11) after the demonetisation of higher value currency. SBI has also exchanged about Rs 1,500 crore worth of currency.
People were given mix of Rs 100 and Rs 2,000 notes. But officials involved in exchange of money said people mostly wanted Rs 100 notes. Many went a step further and got their currency exchanged from 2-3 different branches during the first day itself as there are no restrictions on number of times one can exchange notes.
The exchange facility is also available at post offices and various outlets of RBI. Due to huge demand, many branches had to seek replenishment of cash from chest during the day and in some parts where reinforcement could not be reached, the bank had to turn away customers.
In order to avert any law and order issue, security personnel were deployed at 1.3 lakh branches across the country. ATMs were not working at many places, which also led to longer queues for withdrawal of money from bank counters.