After tightening rules for depositing old 500 and 1000 rupee notes, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Monday night no questions will be asked if any amount of junked currency is deposited in one go but repeated deposits may raise queries. With nearly Rs 13 lakh crore out of the Rs 15.4 lakh crore worth of 500 and 1000 rupee junked already deposited in banks, the government has changed rules to mandate that individuals can deposit over Rs 5,000 in old currency bills only once until 30 December and that too after explaining why it had not been done so far.
Explaining the rationale behind the move, Jaitley said all exemptions to certain sectors and utilities, which had been allowed to accept the banned currency post demonetization, ended last week and all those in possession of the old notes are supposed to deposit them with banks. “Anyone who has old currency notes is not allowed to trade in them. He can only go and deposit them with banks,” he said.
With a view to curtail queues at banks, holders are encouraged to deposit the entire holding in one go, rather than going repeatedly. “If they go and deposit with bank any amount of currency no questions are going to be asked to them and therefore the 5000 rupee limit does not apply to them if they go and deposit it once. “But if they are going to go everyday and deposit some currency, same person, that gives rise to suspicion that where is he acquiring this currency from. In that event a person may have something to worry about. Therefore everyone is advised whatever old currency you have please go and deposit it now,” he said.
And since there is no scope now for earning any old currency because all exemptions have been waived, it makes sense to go deposit all the holding in one go, Jaitley said. “This is the objective of the order passed today.”
After banning old 500 and 1,000 rupee notes on 8 November, the government had allowed all of the cash holdings with any person to be deposited in bank accounts till 30 December.