The Telegraph
Saturday , January 25 , 2014
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Do I have to change my currency notes if any are issued before 2005?

Yes. Best to change it, although the RBI said on Friday you could do it at your “convenience” and such notes will remain legal tender even after July 1. That means banks will accept such notes whenever they are presented but shops and individuals may not

How will I know if the currency note I have is pre-2005 or not?

Look at the bottom on the reverse side of every note. Notes of all denominations printed after 2005 carry the year in which they were printed. The notes printed before 2005 do not have the year of printing marked on them

Can I exchange the pre-2005 notes today?

There is some ambiguity on this front. The RBI advisory issued on January 22 said the notes could be exchanged from April 1. Friday’s advisory leaves room for interpretation that the notes could be exchanged from Saturday itself. However, the chairperson of one PSU bank said it was still waiting for clear guidelines

Where can I get the notes exchanged?

At any branch of a scheduled commercial bank, which means a private bank also. The RBI has clearly said banks will have to exchange notes for their customers and non-customers

Will there be any specific counter?

Bankers say that so far they do not plan to open special counters. But the final decision will depend on the eventual turnout

Do I have to carry any documents?

If you are exchanging notes with a value of over Rs 50,000, you will need to carry your PAN card. If you don’t have a PAN card, fill in Form 60 and give documents in support of proof of identity and address. From July 1 onwards, non-customers of a bank branch may have to furnish proof of identity and residence when they exchange more than ten Rs 500 notes and/or five Rs 1000 notes. (Friday’s advisory was silent on this observation made in the January 22 release)

Is there any limit on the amount I can exchange?

There is no limit on either the number or the value of the notes that you can exchange

Just wondering, what will happen to the pre-2005 notes?

The banks will hand over the pre-2005 notes to the RBI after which they will be shredded. The RBI claims that the scale of notes that need to be shredded isn’t big. But it has not put out a figure or given any idea of what percentage of the 74 billion notes currently in circulation need to go into the shredder.

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