Rajat Sharma

Fresh restrictions on deposits creating confusion

There were millions of people across India who did not rush to banks to deposit their demonetized Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes, since there were long queues at almost all banks soon after the announcement. Many of them were waiting for the queues outside banks to lessen. On November 8, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared Rs 500 and Rs 1000 as no more legal tenders, he had clearly told the nation to keep calm and not rush to banks to deposit their old currency notes, as the 50-day deadline given was to end on December 30. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had also told public that there was no need to rush to the banks to deposit old currency and people should wait for the rush at banks to reduce. But on Monday, the RBI came up with fresh instructions saying anyone depositing more than Rs 5000 will be questioned on record, in the presence of at least two officials of the bank, as to why this could not be deposited earlier. This is not fair. Similarly, the government on November 8 had promised that no questions would be asked of individuals depositing old currency notes upto Rs 2.5 lakhs, but four days ago, it was notified that such individuals will also be questioned. By constantly changing regulations and announcing fresh restrictions frequently, the government is creating confusion in the minds of people, and people’s trust is being gradually eroded. This is causing unnecessary woes for people who had accumulated savings through honest means.

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