New Delhi: As the 50-day deadline to deposit old Rs 500, Rs 1,000 notes ends on Friday, people are pinning their hope on an extension of the date.
While many expect the government to extend the deadline of December 30 for deposit of invalid Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, the government has time and again reiterated that it has no plans to do the same.
The government had on November 8 demonetised 500 and 1,000 rupee notes and asked the holders of such notes to either deposit them or exchange in banks between November 9 and December 30. Through this, it has taken out 86 percent of the currency out of the market.
Lately, the run for the cash seems to have eased slightly in the country as shorter queues could now be seen outside ATMs and banks.
With nearly Rs 14 lakh crore out of the Rs 15.4 lakh crore worth of 500 and 1000 rupee junked already deposited in banks, the expectation that RBI will be able to give a substantial dividend to the government, seems to be a contradictory proposition, a news paper has reported.
Rubbishing critics, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley yesterday said the effects of demonetisation were not as adverse as was predicted and asserted that there has been a sharp jump in tax collections and economic activity including in winter crop sowing.
He added that the remonetisation process has substantially advanced, significantly without a single incident of unrest anywhere in the country.
However, the Finance Minister refused to hazard a guess on the GDP growth for the year or the possible impact on tax proposals in the his Budget for 2017-18 on account of increased revenue collections.
Jaitley said a large part of the Rs 15.4 lakh crore of old high denomination notes in circulation on November 8 have already been replaced and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has a very large amount of currency available to support any liquidity need.
Meanwhile, two days before the deadline for depositing old 500 and 1,000 rupee notes expires, the Cabinet on Wednesday approved promulgation of an Ordinance to make possession of a large number of scrapped banknotes a penal offence that will attract monetary fine.
The Specified Bank Notes Cessation of Liabilities Ordinance makes holding of old 1,000 and 500 rupee notes after March 31 beyond a threshold amount a criminal offence that will attract a monetary fine of Rs 10,000 or five times the cash held, whichever is higher.