Currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denominations would cease to be legal tender from midnight on 8 November 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said late
on 8 November 2016 evening. He said the newly designed Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 currency notes would be introduced in the months to come, but Rs 1,000 currency notes would remain scrapped. In his rare late-evening address to the nation, the prime minister asked common people to contribute to his government’s efforts to curb corruption, unaccounted or black money, and terrorism that relies on such money, as also decimate those from across the border who were pushing counterfeit Indian currency into India. “The old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denomination currency notes would be nothing more than scraps of paper,” the PM said, stating that much of the unaccounted money, as well as counterfeit currency, was found in the currency denominations of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000.
Modi said people could go to their bank accounts to deposit their old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denomination notes and would in due course get the newly designed notes. He said Re 1, Rs 2, Rs 5, Rs 10, Rs 20 and Rs 100 denomination currency notes would continue to remain legal tenders, as would coins. The PM said old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes could be exchanged at banks and post offices for a duration of 50 days from November 10 to December 30. Modi said corruption and black money needed to be uprooted, adding corruption was eating the country like termite as it had become an integral part of political and administrative lives. The PM said ‘black money’ was used indiscriminately during elections. Assembly elections are due by February in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa. Of these, Punjab and Manipur are border states. Counterfeit currency is known to be pushed into India from the Punjab border and also via Nepal.
The PM said the Reserve Bank of India had suggested introducing Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000 denomination currency notes some two years ago, a proposal that was rejected. But new notes of the Rs 2,000 denomination and the redesigned Rs 500 notes would soon be introduced. He said old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes would be accepted at railway booking counters, airports, chemists, hospitals and filling stations until the midnight of November 11. The PM called upon the common people of India to contribute to this “mahayajna” and “festival” of honesty. He said the Reserve Bank of India had asked banks to remain shut on November 9 to prepare themselves. Automated teller machines (ATMs) would also remain closed on November 9 and 10.