The government Thursday said the old Rs 500 notes will be accepted at petrol pumps and for airline tickets only till December 2 — and not till December 15 — as announced earlier. The Indian Express had reported that the government was likely to withdraw exemptions on banned notes before December 15 deadline.
With effect from December 3, 2016, old Rs 500 notes cannot be used for purchase of petrol, diesel and gas at the stations operating under authorisation of public sector oil marketing companies and for buying airline tickets at airport counters, a government notification said. The old notes, however, can still be used to make other utility bill payments and at railway ticketing counters till December 15. They will also be accepted at counters of public sector undertaking buses for purchase of bus tickets
On November 24, the exemptions for acceptance of Rs 500 had been extended till December 15 in certain transactions. It is learnt that the government assessed that many such exemptions blocked new currencies from reaching to the public.
“Wherever old currencies are allowed, some are using them just to change the old currencies into new. For example, the new currencies from the customers in petrol pumps do not reach the bank. Instead they go to those who want to convert,” a source in the government had told The Indian Express.
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“At one point you will have to stop this ensure smooth circulation of the legally tendered currencies. There is a suggestion that all exemptions should be stopped. Because an average citizen is not getting the new currencies,” the source said.