"Royal welcome to the keepers of black money": Congress on Rs 2,000 note exchange
The banknotes in Rs 2,000 denomination will continue to be a legal tender, the RBI said in a statement
Five days after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the central bank of India, announced withdrawal of Rs 2,000 currency notes from circulation, Congress on Tuesday hit out at the Modi government, terming the whole exercise as the "royal welcome to the keepers of black money".
Saying that "Rs 2,000 note had gone out of the hands of ordinary citizens long ago" Congress spokesperson, Gourav Vallabh, addressing a press conference at AICC headquarters pointed out, "to exchange Rs 2000 notes, no identity, forms, or proof will be required by banks. So, 'royal welcome' is given to keepers of black money to exchange their Rs 2,000 denomination notes by the Modi Government".
As per the RBI data, Rs 2,000 currency notes worth Rs 3.62 lakh crore were in circulation till 31 May 2023. "Rs 3.62 lakh crore is with the keepers of black money," added Vallabh.
Highlighting the ‘crisis’ that organised sector and SMEs will have to face, the Congress spokesperson said, “After 6.5 years again, the unorganized sector will be under stress to once again stand in line to exchange Rs 2000 notes. Further, as transactions face problems, especially for small businesses – producers and traders – the economy will be impacted which had just started showing signs of minor recovery after the pandemic.”
As per an estimate, Vallabh said, six crore MSMEs and 11 crore farmers will be forced to stand in queue again.
In a reply to a question, explaining how banks will have to perform around 36 Crore transactions in the next 4 months to withdraw all the Rs 2,000 currency notes from circulation, Vallabh said: "This will harm the growth in credit as many bank branches will be busy in the exchange only."
"No new job creation in the economy," added Vallabh.
On May 19, the RBI announced the withdrawal of Rs 2,000 currency notes from circulation and said existing notes in circulation can either be deposited in bank accounts or exchanged by September 30.
The banknotes in Rs 2,000 denomination will continue to be a legal tender, the RBI said in a statement.
In order to ensure operational convenience and to avoid disruption of regular activities of bank branches, the RBI has said the exchange of Rs 2,000 bank notes into banknotes of other denominations can be made up to a limit of Rs 20,000 at a time at any bank starting from May 23.
In a communication to the chief general manager of all its local head offices, State Bank of India (SBI) informed that the facility of exchange of Rs 2,000 notes by the public up to a limit of Rs 20,000 at a time will be allowed without obtaining any requisition slip.
"Further, no identity proof is required to be submitted by the tenderer at the time of exchange," the communication dated May 20 said.