The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Monday extended the date for exchanging pre-2005 currency notes to January 1, 2015.
“The Reserve Bank of India has extended the date for exchanging the pre-2005 banknotes to January 01, 2015. It has also advised banks to facilitate the exchange of these notes for full value and without causing any inconvenience whatsoever to the public,” a statement by the central bank said.
“The Reserve Bank clarifies that the public can continue to freely use these notes for any transaction and can unhesitatingly receive these notes in payment, as all such notes continue to remain legal tender,” it added.
The RBI, however, said a majority of such notes had already been withdrawn and only a limited number of them remained with the public. “This withdrawal exercise is in conformity with the standard international practice of not having multiple series of notes in circulation at the same time,” it said about the withdrawal.
The RBI had on January 22 decided to withdraw all currency notes issued prior to 2005, including Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 denominations, beginning March 31. The step was aimed at curbing fake currency notes in the country.
The RBI had asked the public to exchange currency notes that did not display year of printing on the reverse side. “…public can easily identify the notes to be withdrawn as the notes issued before 2005 do not have on them the year of printing on the reverse side.” The year of printing in a small font is visible at the middle of the bottom row in notes issued after 2005.
“The Reserve Bank will continue to monitor and review the process so that the public is not inconvenienced in any manner,” the bank said on Monday.