Bengaluru: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has said that the ordinance to make possession of a large number of scrapped banknotes a penal offence, making holding of old Rs 1,000 and 500 notes after March 31 beyond a threshold amount a criminal offence, has been brought in order to prevent the hoarding of such notes.
"There may be an instance where people hoarded and still continued to exchange them. In order to prevent such illegal activity, this ordinance has been brought," BJP leader S Prakash told ANI.
"I hope by 31st March, not a single note will remain for exchange," he added.
Prakash said being an opposition party raising issues is their duty and they are doing it every day despite not receiving any public support for their issues.
He said Parliament is the forum where every question has to be answered by the government and it will be aptly replied.
Responding to Rahul Gandhi`s allegations that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has sacrificed the common man in `yagna` against black money, Prakash said, "Rahul Gandhi must understand that without the support of a common man, the demonetisation scheme would not have been possible to implement. Unfortunately, he is far away from ground reality."
He said that the Congress had let down the `Aam Aadmi` during their 10-year rule.
"Congress ka haath, aam admi ke saath, they held the haath of corruption and many scandals were exposed during their term then," Prakash said asking Rahul Gandhi would he answer that first.
The Cabinet on Wednesday had approved promulgation of an ordinance to make possession of a large number of scrapped banknotes a penal offence making the holding of old Rs 1,000 and 500 notes after March 31 beyond a threshold amount a criminal offence.
The possession will attract a monetary fine of Rs 10,000 or five times the cash held, whichever is higher.
The Specified Bank Notes Cessation of Liabilities Ordinance also provides for amending the Reserve Bank of India Act to provide legislative support for scrapping the demonetised banknotes that are not returned.
The last date for depositing old currency notes in bank accounts and post offices is expiring on Friday and thereafter, people can deposit such notes only in the RBI after giving valid reason for being unable to do so during the 50 day period as announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 8.
Furnishing wrong information while depositing the old currency between January 1 and March 31 will attract a fine of Rs 5,000 or five times the amount.
The ordinance will come into force once it gets Presidential assent.
Of the 15.4 lakh crore rupees worth of currency that was scrapped, about 14 lakh crores rupees has been deposited in banks or has been exchanged.