Banks to remain open this weekend; working hrs extended
Having swept away 86 per cent of total currency by banning Rs 500/1000 notes, the government on Wednesday sought to assuage any panic in public, saying banks and post offices will start giving out replacement currencies from tomorrow even as it expanded scope of exempt public utilities.
It also ordered banks to remain open for full day this Saturday and Sunday to deal with rush of people wanting to deposit the defunct currency bills. The working hours have also been extended till 8 pm for most banks Besides, it expanded the list of areas where the withdrawn notes will be accepted till November 11 midnight.
They include payments for metro rail tickets, highway and road toll, purchase of medicines on doctor prescription from government and private pharmacies, LPG gas cylinders, railway catering and ASI monuments entry tickets.
A 72-hour relaxation for use of such notes was given on Tuesday for government hospitals, railway ticketing, public transport, airline ticketing counters at airports; milk booths, crematoria/burial grounds and petrol pumps.
Banks and ATMs were shut on Tuesday to remove old Rs 500/1000 notes and stock them with lower denomination and new hard-to- fake Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 currency notes. Banks will open on Thursday as RBI has sent truckloads of new notes throughout the country, while some ATMs will begin dispensing cash.
“Through RBI’s currency chest, adequate currency is (being) provided in all banks and post offices. But it would require 2-3 weeks for full adequate replacement. It would begin tomorrow morning,” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told reporters here.
Withdrawal limitations - Rs 2,000 a day from ATM per card and Rs 10,000 through bank account on a day and Rs 20,000 in a week, will continue for sometime, he said.