New Delhi, December 15: The deadline to use Rs. 500 note will end today at midnight. People can use old Rs 500 notes for paying utility bills or buying medicines till Thursday midnight as the government has decided not to extend exemptions beyond 15 December. However, people can deposit invalid Rs 500 currency in their bank accounts.
"Exemptions for use of old Rs 500 notes will end on 15 December midnight," Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das tweeted. The Centre will not extend the deadline of December 15 to use old 500 rupee notes for certain activities such as paying utility and hospital bills and purchasing cooking gas cylinders.
The decision was taken after an assessment that the exemption was being grossly misused to launder black money and that scrapping it will not affect movement of goods. It had also stopped the use of old Rs 1,000 notes.
The Centre had withdrawn the facility to use old Rs 500 notes at petrol pumps from the midnight of December 2.
While cancelling legal tender of Rs 500 and 1,000 notes on 8 November, the government had allowed them to be used for utility bill payments for the first 72 hours. This deadline was extended repeatedly and the last extension was granted till 15 December.
Since the demonetization announcement, the government has been pushing towards promoting digital transactions and has come out with a package to incentivize cashless payments.
Now petrol, railway tickets and insurance policies of PSU companies will cost less if bought through debit/credit cards or other digital modes. The government also waived service tax for payments up to Rs 2,000 made through cards and decided to do away with transaction fee for payment to the central government departments and PSUs.
Here is the list where Rs.500 notes can still be used: