Demonetisation: Don't panic, says govt as serpentine queues continue

Updated: Nov 12, 2016, 10:51 IST | Agencies

Assuring people that their hard-earned money is safe, the Finance Ministry yesterday said there is no need to panic and depositing junked Rs 500/1,000 notes of up to Rs 2.50 lakh in bank accounts will not be reported to the tax department

People standing in queues to exchange their old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes in Gurugram on Friday. Pic/PTI
People standing in queues to exchange their old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes in Gurugram on Friday. Pic/PTI

New Delhi: Assuring people that their hard-earned money is safe, the Finance Ministry yesterday said there is no need to panic and depositing junked Rs 500/1,000 notes of up to Rs 2.50 lakh in bank accounts will not be reported to the tax department.

It also cautioned people against depositing the money of unknown people in their own accounts or falling prey to cheats. Besides, it said, farm income continues to remain tax-free and can be easily deposited. Small businessmen, housewives, artisans, workers can also deposit cash in their accounts without any apprehensions, it added.

Even so, queues outside banks grew longer as did confusion and chaos, with all cash vending machines still not functioning despite a two-day break. People waited for hours to get the cash needed to meet their daily expenses.

ATMs had people queued up since early morning. But not all of them were operating and the crowds grew agitated on learning that they were still inactive. Bank officials said all ATMs should start functioning by today after old notes are removed.

Waiting for new notes, 2 die in Kerala
An elderly man standing in queue collapsed and died, while another fell to his death while filling forms to deposit over Rs 5 lakh in Kerala. In the other incident, Unni (48), working as an overseer in the Kerala State Electricity Board fell to his death from the second floor of the building, while he was filling the necessary forms to deposit Rs 5.50 lakh he had with him.

Pak lawmaker calls for emulating India’s move
Citing India as an example for scrapping high-denomination notes, Pakistani Senator Osman Saifullah Khan has submitted a resolution in the Senate asking the government to withdraw Rs 1,000 and Rs 5,000 notes from circulation to combat black money and corruption in the country. He added that such notes were being discouraged the world over.

Politicos pitch in

Rahul Gandhi, stood in line at an SBI bank branch in New Delhi to get Rs 4,000 exchanged. While waiting, he said, “People are suffering, neither Prime Minister Narendra Modi nor owners of big media houses would understand it.”

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and finance minister Arun Jaitley, urging them to allow invalid Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes at private hospitals and medicine shops till November 30.

Meanwhile, BJP President Amit Shah said that rival parties have exposed them-selves by criticising the demonetisation, that has rattled those with black money and fake currency and made some political parties poor as well.

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