[TNN] CHENNAI, Jun 23: If you are in possession of currency notes printed before 2005 — identifiable as they do not mention year of printing on the reverse — you only have a little over a week to go to your nearest bank branch to exchange such currency notes for their full value.
As a part of its standard practice of phasing out bank note series, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided it will withdraw the circulation of currency notes issued prior to 2005. After extension of deadlines, RBI urged the public to either deposit the old design notes in their bank accounts or exchange them in a bank branch by June 30.
Explaining the withdrawal exercise, RBI has clarified that the public can continue to use these notes for their transactions and need not hesitate to receive these notes in payment as all such notes continue to remain legal tender. ‘The notes are only being withdrawn from circulation and this withdrawal exercise is in conformity with the standard international practice of not having multiple series of notes in circulation at the same time,’ the explanation read.
“These notes can be freely exchanged at any bank branch till June 30, 2015. The procedure to be followed after June 30, 2015, shall be communicated by RBI in due course,” a note on the central bank’s website read.
The pre-2005 series of currency notes are being withdrawn since they possess fewer security features as compared to notes printed after 2005. Besides the security feature, the notes printed as part of the 2005 Mahatma Gandhi series have the year of printing on the reverse in the lower middle portion.
Banks have been asked to accept and exchange the old notes from public, whether customers or non-customers without any charge and without any restriction on numbers. RBI also said a person can get the amount credited to his bank account and it was not necessary to receive only cash in exchange for the notes.
According to reports, over 164 crore pre-2005 currency notes of various denominations were shredded in regional RBI offices in 13-month period ending January. The face value of these shredded notes were valued around 21,750 crore.