With lakhs of people in the country struggling to exchange their old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes for new currency, the government has announced that the old notes can be used to pay utility bills like electricity and water for another 72 hours, ending Monday. The government has also extended the deadline for all others services that were exempted previously including govt hospitals, pharmacueticals, railway, air booking, milk booths and co-operative stores.
Earlier, the government had said that people can use old notes to pay these two utility bills till November 11 midnight, but that deadline has been extended now.
Across the country, ATMS and banks saw a mad rush as people lined up to exchange old currency notes. Many had to return without new currency as ATMs and banks had run out of cash.
Also, Union Transport minister Nitin Gadkari announced that collection at toll booths in national highways would be suspended till November 14th midnight.
The government has said:
"The Government has been closely monitoring the implementation of the decision. Considering various representations received from different quarters in the matter, it has now been decided that the existing exemptions may be extended until the expiry of 14th November, 2016, with the following modifications / additions to the existing exemptions:
(i) Payment for court fees will be included in the exemptions.
(ii) The ID proof of customers will be required for transactions in consumer cooperative stores.
(iii) Payments towards utility bills will be restricted to only individuals / households for arrears and / or current bills. No advance payments will be allowed.
Read The News Minute's complete coverage of demonetisation here.
Acceptance of old 500 & 1000 notes for payments in exempted categories will continue upto 14 Nov midnight with a few changes.â€” Shaktikanta Das (@DasShaktikanta) November 11, 2016