New Delhi, December 20: After tightening rules for depositing old 500 and 1000-rupee notes, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Monday evening that no questions will be asked if any amount of scrapped currency is deposited in one go but repeated deposits may raise queries.
"If they go and deposit with bank any amount of currency no questions are going to be asked to them and therefore the 5000 rupee limit does not apply to them if they go and deposit it once," Jaitley told media on Monday night, after the Reserve Bank of India announced earlier in the day that deposits of old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes in excess of Rs 5,000 will now be allowed only once till December 30 that too after strict scrutiny.
With nearly Rs. 13 lakh crore out of the Rs. 15.4 lakh crore worth of 500 and 1000-rupee old notes already deposited in banks, the government has changed rules to mandate that individuals can deposit over Rs. 5,000 in old currency bills only once until December 30 and that too after explaining why it had not been done so far.
"But if they are going to go everyday and deposit some currency, same person that gives rise to suspicion that where is he acquiring this currency from. In that event a person may have something to worry about. Therefore everyone is advised whatever old currency you have please deposit it now," he said.
The Finance Minister said that since all exemptions to certain sectors and utilities, which had been allowed to accept the banned currency post demonetization, ended last week, those in possession of the old notes are supposed to deposit them with banks. With a view to curtail queues at banks, holders are encouraged to deposit the entire holding in one go, rather than going repeatedly.
"Anyone who has old currency notes is not allowed to trade in them. He can only go and deposit them with banks," he said.
"The banks have been advised to conduct due diligence regarding the reasons for not depositing these notes earlier," the statement said. Amounts of Rs. 5,000 or less may continue to be deposited with banks in the customer's account, as at present.
"However, cumulative deposits exceeding Rs. 5,000 between December 19 and December 30, 2016 will be as per the procedures advised by the RBI in respect of deposits exceeding Rs. 5,000," it said.
The Reserve Bank of India too came out with deposit guideline stipulating that restrictive conditions will also apply on the cumulative deposit of such notes in a single account when it exceeds Rs. 5,000.