The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has extended the date for exchanging the pre-2005 banknotes by nine months to January 1, 2015 from March 31, 2014.
The RBI has also advised banks to facilitate the exchange of these notes for full value and without causing any inconvenience whatsoever to the public. “The RBI solicits the cooperation of the public in withdrawing these notes from circulation by exchanging them at a bank branch convenient to them,” it said.
According to the RBI, this withdrawal exercise is in conformity with the standard international practice of not having multiple series of notes in circulation at the same time. A majority of such notes have already been withdrawn through the banks and only a limited number of notes remain with the public, it said.
“The public can continue to freely use these notes for any transaction and can unhesitatingly receive these notes in payment, as all such notes continue to remain legal tender,” it said. The Reserve Bank will continue to monitor and review the process so that the public is not inconvenienced in any manner, it said in a statement on Monday. There were complaints that some merchants and traders stopped accepting pre-2005 notes.
On January 22, the RBI said that after April 1, people will need to approach scheduled commercial banks to exchange pre-2005 notes.
The RBI then said, from July 1, to exchange more an 10 pieces of 500 and 1,000 rupee notes, non-customers will have to furnish proof of identity and residence to the bank branch in which they want to exchange the notes.
“Public can easily identify the notes to be withdrawn as the notes issued before 2005 do not have on them the year of printing on the reverse side,” the RBI said.