The Reserve Bank of India has extended the date for exchanging the pre-2005 banknotes to January 01, 2015. The central bank has asked banks to facilitate the exchange of these notes for full value without causing any inconvenience to the public.
The RBI has clarified that the “public can continue to freely use the pre-2005 notes for any transaction and can unhesitatingly receive these notes in payment”. The RBI had earlier said that it would withdraw pre-2005 notes from April 1, 2014.
A majority of pre-2005 notes have already been withdrawn through the banks and only a limited number of notes remain with the public, the central bank said in a statement.
RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan had said the withdrawal of pre-2005 notes is not intended to check black money but to prevent counterfeiting. Dr Rajan said that the notes issued before 2005 had fewer security features and is standard international practice to withdraw old series notes.
The opposition parties had called the RBI’s move “anti-poor”. “People with small savings and no bank accounts will be targeted. The present scheme does nothing to remove black money from circulation,” BJP spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi said.
How to identify notes issued before 2005: You can easily distinguish the currency notes issued before 2005 as these currencies do not have the year of printing on reverse side. The year of printing is visible at the middle of the bottom row in notes issued after 2005.
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