Following RBI's announcement of stricter rules for depositing demonetised currency, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has clarified that no questions will be asked if any amount of old currency is deposited in one go, but repeated deposits may provoke 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 reporters 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.
"But if they are going to go every day 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 go and 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 demonetisation, ended last week, those in possession of the old notes are supposed to deposit them with banks.
"Anyone who has old currency notes is not allowed to trade in them. He can only go and deposit them with banks," he said.
Earlier on Monday, the RBI said when a person deposits over Rs 5,000 in withdrawn currencies, then credit shall be given to that person's account only after questioning him or her, in the presence of two bank officials, as to why the notes were not deposited earlier.
The bankers will keep the explanatory statement on record for future audit trail.
Deposits of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes up to Rs 5,000 in value received across the counter will be allowed to be credited to bank accounts in the normal course until December 30.
But if the deposits are less than Rs 5,000 at a time but cumulatively the value exceeds Rs 5,000, then the bank officials have to follow the procedure of getting on record the explanation from the depositor why the deposit was not made earlier.
These restrictions do not apply to deposits under the Taxation and Investment Regime for the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana.
The government demonetised the high value currency notes on November 8, in a move to combat the problems of black money, counterfeit currency and terror financing.