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Big announcement! PM Modi declares war on black money; Rs 500, Rs 1000 notes cease to be legal tender

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday addressed the nation and said that his government was dedicated to the poor.

Big announcement! PM Modi declares war on black money; Rs 500, Rs 1000 notes cease to be legal tender
Pic courtesy: PIB

Delhi: In a big announcement on Tuesday evening, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that effective from midnight Rs 1000 and Rs 500 would no longer be legal tender.

In a major assault on black money, fake currency and corruption, he said, "You have 50 days (From 10 November to 30 December) to deposit notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 in any bank or post office."

"Currency notes of Rs 1000 and Rs 500 will be just paper with no value. These notes should be exchanged in banks and post offices within December 30, 2016," PM reiterated.

"There will be respite for people for the initial 72 hours, government hospitals will accept old Rs 500 and 1000 notes till 11 November midnight. On November 9 and in some places November 10, ATMs will not work. There will be no change in any other form of currency exchange be it cheque, DD, payment via credit or debit cards etc," he pointed out in his 40-minute address, first in Hindi and later in English.

"On November 9, all banks will remain closed for public work," he further said, adding, "Notes of Rs 2000 and Rs 500 will be circulated soon, RBI has decided to limit the notes with higher value."

"Those unable to deposit their notes of Rs 1000 and Rs 500 by December 30 for some reason, they can change the notes till March 31, 2017 by furnishing ID proof," he revealed.

ATM withdrawals will be restricted to Rs 2000 per day and this will be raised to Rs 4000 later. Withdrawals from bank accounts will be limited to Rs 10,000 a day and Rs 20,000 a week. This limit will be increased in the coming days.

Banks will open additional counters and work for additional hours to deal with the rush of people wanting to deposit or change notes.

PM expressed confidence that the staff of banks and post offices will rise to the occasion to introduce the new order within the available time. He also expressed confidence that political parties, workers, social organisations and the media will go further than the government in making it a success.

At the same time, he also talked about the work done by his government.

"This government is dedicated to the poor, and will continue to do so. With the help of the citizens of India, India has emerged as a bright spot in world economy," he said.

He added, "India has registered itself as a bright spot, and it's not that this is a claim made by us, but by IMF and World Bank."

Outlining the work done by his government he said, "In all our policies, we are dedicated for the upliftment of entire society. Government has been working on the principles of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas."

Speaking on terrorism he said, "Our enemies from across the border run their business with counterfeit notes and it has been going on for years."

"Black money and corruption has taken roots in the country, these are the biggest obstacles in eradicating poverty, We have taken many steps to curb black money," he said.

"Over the last 2 and a half years, 1.25 lakh crore worth of black money has been recovered," he pointed out.

He said honest citizens want this fight against corruption, black money, benami property, terrorism and counterfeiting to continue.

"Which honest citizen would not be pained by reports of crores worth of currency notes stashed under the beds of government officers? Or by reports of cash found in gunny bags," he asked.

"There comes a time in the history of a country's development when a need is felt for a strong and decisive step," PM Modi said.

The Rs 1000 notes are being withdrawn after being in circulation for 16 years while Rs 500 note was re-introduced in 1987.

The higher denomination currency notes were withdrawn, first in 1946 but re-introduced in 1954 and again demonetised in 1978.