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The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued the new high-security Rs 500 notes on Sunday evening, bringing respite to people struggling for smaller change.
“New series of Rs 500 denomination notes introduced today in New Delhi at SBI Parliament Street Branch,” the finance ministry announced on Twitter.
Some branches like SBI Main branch in Delhi already began distribution of Rs 500 notes.
Only Rs 2,000 notes, apart from Rs 100 and below, have been available since Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday night announced the surprise decision to demonetise higher denomination notes.
The new 500-note is expected to ease pressure on banks’ cash position and improve liquidity in the market.
“We need lower denomination notes for purchasing essential articles to ensure flexible payments and for this purpose the introduction of Rs 500 notes and their distribution amongst the people was essential,” said State Bank of India (SBI) chief general manager, Delhi, Alok Choudhary.
After the new series of Rs 2,000 notes were introduced, people faced trouble over change as several shopkeepers refused to accept the currency citing scarcity of lower denominated currencies.
According to the central bank statement, the new Rs 500 banknotes bear signature of Reserve Bank of India Governor Urjit Patel.
The stone grey-coloured note bears year of printing ‘2016’ and Swachh Bharat logo printed on the reverse.
The new Rs 500 note is different from the earlier in colour, size, theme, location of security features and design elements.
Besides, it has Red Fort as an image of Indian heritage site with Indian flag on the reverse of it.
“The banknote also has features (intaglio printing of Mahatma Gandhi portrait, Ashoka Pillar emblem, bleed lines, circle with 500 in the right, and the identification mark) which enable the visually impaired person to identify the denomination,” it said.
Meanwhile, the RBI said there is enough cash available in small denominations at banks, and that people must not be anxious and repeatedly draw and hoard cash.
Since PM Modi’s announcement on November 8, people have been queuing up for hours outside banks and ATMs.
“The Reserve Bank of India assures members of the public that enough cash in small denominations are also available at the Reserve Bank and banks. The Reserve Bank urges that public need not be anxious; need not come over to banks repeatedly to draw and hoard. Cash is available when they need it,” a statement read.
Banks continued to struggle in dispensing money following the government’s decision to withdraw large denomination notes in an attempt to curb black money.
Here’s a round-up of all the important developments
Ten days after demonetisation of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 notes was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, there seems to be little respite for those thronging ATMs and banks to withdraw or exchange what is now illegal tender.
Here’s a round-up of all the important developments:
1. On November 19, banks served only their respective customers and did not exchange old notes from customers of other banks. However, the restriction was not applicable to senior citizens.
2. The Supreme Court on Friday warned that there “may be riots” and refused the government’s plea to stay cases filed against demonetisation in High Courts and lower courts across the country, saying “how can we shut our doors to people when there is a problem of such magnitude.”
3. The exchange limit has been reduced to Rs. 2,000 to ease some pressure on cash demand. Families can withdraw up to Rs. 2,50,000 for weddings.
4. The withdrawal limit from ATMs has been increased from Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 2,500, but this will apply only to the recalibrated ATMs.
5. Several measures were announced to ease the burden on farmers. To ensure sowing in the Rabi season, the government has allowed farmers to withdraw Rs. 25,000 a week against crop loan/kisan credit card. Traders in agricultural mandis will be permitted to draw Rs. 50,000 in cash per week to pay for sundry expenses like wages. While the time limit for payment of crop loan insurance premium has been extended by 15 days, government employees up to Group C have been given an option to draw salary advance in cash.
6. To stop repeat money exchange with invalid currency notes, banks have started applying indelible ink mark on the right index finger of customers in select metro cities.
7. Following the move, the Election Commission asked the Central government to continue its use of indelible ink at banks, but in keeping with the EC’s directions.
8. The exemption deadline for all those services allowed to accept the old Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes was extended to November 24 midnight. These services include petrol pumps, pharmacies, and utility services amongst others.
9. Parliament saw repeated disruptions over the issue. Both Houses ended up being adjourned on the second day of the winter session after Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad’s remarks comparing deaths in this period to those in the Uri attacks. MoS for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi demanded an apology from Mr. Azad, stalling business further.
10. Cash seizures from across the country have increased since the demonetisation announcement.