Economy

Banks refusing to accept over ₹5,000 in old notes, complain depositors

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on January 16, 2018 Published on December 20, 2016

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Wary of accepting notes due to fear of harassment by tax authorities, say bankers

The Reserve Bank of India’s latest move to restrict deposits of over ₹5,000 in scrapped notes has not gone down well with depositors.

Consumers across the country were complaining that banks were refusing to take deposits even after giving detailed explanations. The new rules say that banks should accept the demonetised notes in excess of ₹5,000 only once and that too after the depositor has been questioned by two officials.

Nalin Kaushik, a Punjab-based lawyer, wrote on Twitter that his bank branch in Sunet, Ludhiana, was not accepting deposits of old notes.

Similarly, Noida-based Udit Kothari said his bank in Meerut was not accepting funds above ₹5,000, even after giving justification. Depositors feel the new norm is unfair to them. Their gripe is that when depositors prior to December 19 (the date of the latest RBI circular) could deposit money without being questioned, there is no reason they can’t do so now.

Bankers said they were wary about accepting the deposits, fearing that they could be harassed by tax authorities later.

“The government and the RBI should have allowed all deposits to come in till December 30. Immediately thereafter, the I-T Department could have swung into action, questioning depositors as to the source of the cash deposit,” said a Union Bank of India official.

Some customers were annoyed with the questioning, but bankers did not have any choice as the RBI’s instructions were followed to the letter, the official added.

A Central Bank of India branch head said since the demonetisation drive was announced his branch, on an average, received ₹20-25 lakh in demonetised notes daily as deposits.

However, on Tuesday, the branch received only ₹4 lakh worth of such notes.

There were also enquiries for depositing money under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana, 2016, where no questions are asked about the source of money.

Published on December 20, 2016
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