The government has given the last chance to district cooperative banks, commercial banks and post offices to deposit old notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 with the Reserve Bank by July 20, provided they were collected within the specified time period.
After the November 8 shock demonetisation announcement, the government had allowed commercial banks and post offices to accept the junked currency from the public until December 30. District central cooperative banks were allowed to accept them only until November 14.
The finance ministry, through a notification on Wednesday, allowed banks and post offices to exchange any old junked notes with RBI in the next one month, provided they were collected by December 30, 2016.
According to a recent report, district central cooperative banks in Maharashtra alone are stuck with Rs 2,770 crore worth old notes they collected during the early days of demonetization but were unable to deposit them with RBI.
This had led to stalling of a Maharashtra government scheme to hand out Rs 10,000 cash to distressed farmers.
Several leaders including NCP supremo Sharad Pawar and those from Shiv Sena had represented to the government for allowing cooperative banks to deposit old notes. The relief has finally come.
India is the second-largest producer and consumer of currency notes. The circulation of banknotes has increased to 90.27 billion pieces from 64.58 billion over the last five years.
As on November 8, 2016, the total amount of currency in circulation was Rs 17.7 lakh crore, which included specified bank notes (SBNs) of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000.
As per the last official count released by RBI on December 13, banks had garnered Rs 12.44 lakh crore in banned notes till December 10.