Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during a special address to the nation, announced that currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denominations will be illegal starting 12 midnight on November 8. That is not even four hours after the surprising announcement was made. “Currency notes of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 will be just paper with no value,” Modi said. The move comes as a strike against the hoarding of black money. “A few people are spreading corruption for their own benefit,” he said, adding that “corruption and black money is (sic) something we have fought for immediately after assuming office…There is a time when you realise that you have bring some changes in society, and this is our time to feel the same.” It was then that he announced that the Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes will be deemed illegal starting midnight.
The news comes days after Twitter was buzzing with photos of bundles of currency notes of Rs 2,000 that were being shared with the idea that the Reserve Bank of India might be issuing them into the market soon. Well, now the wait for those notes – and new Rs 500 ones – is almost painful. People wanted to know what this scheme was initiated? The incidence of fake Indian currency notes in higher denomination has increased. For ordinary persons, the fake notes look similar to genuine notes, even though no security feature has been copied. The fake notes are used for antinational and illegal activities. High denomination notes have been misused by terrorists and for hoarding black money. India remains a cash based economy hence the circulation of Fake Indian Currency Notes continues to be a menace. In order to contain the rising incidence of fake notes and black money, the scheme to withdraw has been introduced.
Banks will remain closed tomorrow and some ATMs will also not function tomorrow and day after as RBI stocks banks and ATM machines with lower denomination notes, Modi said. The prime minister 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 said he is hopeful that political parties, workers, social organisations and the media will go further than the government in making it a success. Following the announcement, there were huge crowds outside ATMs across the country as people lined up to withdraw currency of smaller denominations.