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RBI Retracts Directive For Lenders To Question Depositors

The Reserve Bank of India on Wednesday rolled back a recent curb on cash deposits that had been put in place just 10 days before the end of the government's demonetisation deadline of December 30

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The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Wednesday (21 December) retracted a directive for banks to question individuals depositing more than Rs 5,000 ($74) in discontinued currency, just two days after issuing the order.

The central bank asked lenders to seek reasons why the funds were not deposited earlier in the government's crime-busting demonetisation campaign, which began on November 8 with the abolition of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes - 86 per cent of all cash.

The directive was widely criticised as diluting a government assurance that banks would accept the notes until the end of December.

It was withdrawn in a one-line notification for accounts verified with so-called know-your-customer documents. The central bank did not provide a reason for the withdrawal.

"The government told us to withdraw the circular," said an RBI official with direct knowledge of the matter. The withdrawal was with immediate effect, said the official, who was not authorised to speak with media and so declined to be identified.

Other measures under demonetisation include stopping over-the-counter exchange of the discontinued notes at banks and reversing an assurance that daily cash withdrawal limits from automated teller machines would be increased.


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Demonetisation rbi cash crunch black money