Now, an indelible mark to stop multiple note swaps

| Updated on: Jan 15, 2018


Situation improving, don’t panic, says Shaktikanta Das

To prevent blackmoney hoarders from approaching many banks for exchanging their unaccounted cash, the government has decided to mark customers swapping the old notes with indelible ink.

“Unscrupulous elements and some syndicates have been trying to convert their black money to white and are organising groups to go to bank branches for changing currency notes,” said Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das on Tuesday.

“As a result what is happening is that the benefit of withdrawal of cash is getting restricted to a smaller number of people.”

The Prime Minister’s Office has been constantly reviewing the implementation of the government’s decision to withdraw ₹500 and ₹1,000 currency notes and replace them with new ₹500 and ₹2,000 notes. While the Centre is taking corrective measures to ensure smooth implementation, the Supreme Court on Tuesday heard PILs filed against the government decision.

The apex court refused to stay the November 8 notification demonetising ₹500 and ₹1,000 currency but asked the Centre to take immediate measures to alleviate the sufferings of the common man “forced” to stand in queues to withdraw his own hard-earned money.

The Attorney General said ₹3.25 lakh crore in ₹500/1,000 notes was deposited out of the ₹15 or ₹16 lakh crore in circulation. At least, ₹10 to ₹11 lakh crore is expected to come in.

Sources said that the indelible ink would be applied only on the right-hand fingers as the left is marked during elections.

From Wednesday, the government expects more ATMs to dispense ₹2,000 notes.

Das warned that deposits into Jan Dhan accounts will be monitored and appealed to such account holders to not allow anyone to deposit money in their accounts. The limit for deposits to Jan Dhan Accounts is ₹50,000.

To check the siphoning off of unaccounted wealth into gold and jewellery, the Directorate General of Central Excise Intelligence has also sent notice to jewellers seeking details of their turnover on November 7 and 8. “Any glaring exceptions will be examined,” said the source.

Das stressed that there is adequate cash in the system and there is no reason for panic.

“The government is currently monitoring the situation,” he said, adding that the Cabinet Secretary is also monitoring the supply of essential commodities.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had taken a review meeting on Monday night with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Minister of State for Power and Coal Piyush Goyal, Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha and senior PMO and Finance Ministry officials.

To increase cash supply, the government has asked places of worship to deposit notes of smaller denominations they receive as donations. “These can then be dispensed to customers,” said Das.

The government has also set up a task-force to work out measures to shift and store old currency notes from banks and post offices and another task-force to keep a watch on fake currency and black money being deposited in the system.

A third task-force on technology has been constituted to encourage the use of e-wallets and monitor the recalibration of ATMs.

Published on November 15, 2016
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