24/11/2016 8:55 PM IST | Updated 25/11/2016 1:03 AM IST

Demonetisation: Govt Halts Exchange Of Old ₹500 and ₹1000 Notes, Extends Exemptions

Payment towards pre-paid mobile top-up up to ₹500 per recharge has also been allowed.

Danish Siddiqui / Reuters

The government on Thursday said it will no longer allow over the counter exchange of old Rs. 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes starting midnight on November 25.

However, certain exemptions relating to cancellation of legal tender character of old currency notes has been extended up to December 15, including for the payment of current and arrears dues to utilities which will be limited to only water and electricity.

Payment towards pre-paid mobile top-up to a limit of Rs 500 per recharge has also been allowed while purchase from consumer cooperative stores will be limited to Rs 5,000 at a time, an official release said.

Payment at toll plazas can be made via old notes from December 3 to December 15 as toll free arrangement continues up to December 2.

Current and arrears dues payments will be limited to only water and electricity, a facility that will continue to be available only for individuals and households.

However, the government also said payments for transactions under all the exempted categories will now be accepted only through old Rs 500 notes.

Foreign citizens will also be permitted to exchange foreign currency up to Rs 5000 per week. Necessary entry to this effect will be made in their passports, it said.

Purchase from Consumer Cooperative Stores will be limited to Rs. 5000 at a time.

The exemptions were initially announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he disclosed the demonetisation scheme on November 8. Subsequently there have been modifications in these measures.

An offocial press statement said the government has been reviewing the issues arising out of the cancellation of the legal tender character of the high denomination notes.

The Government has also been receiving various suggestions in this regard. After due consideration of all relevant aspects, decisions relating to certain operational aspects of the Scheme have now been taken, it said.

There has been large scale criticism of the government in the wake of severe hardships faced by a cross-section of people following demonetisation of high denomination currency.

With PTI and ANI inputs

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