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Have you exchanged the pre-2005 bank notes?

As you may recollect, a year back in Jan 2014, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had announced that the currency notes issued prior to 2005 would be withdrawn from circulation by Mar 31, 2014.

Accordingly, the public was advised to approach the bank and exchange their old pre-2005 notes. (Must read 'Get ready to replace your pre-2005 currency notes' for how to identify such notes).

Subsequently, in Mar 2014, RBI notified that the date for withdrawal of such notes was being extended till Jan 1, 2015.

Besides banks were advised certain Do's and Don'ts to ensure that general public was not inconvenienced. (Must read 'Date for withdrawal of pre-2005 notes extended...' for the said do's and don'ts).

Well, the latest news from RBI is that the date for withdrawal of pre-2005 notes has been further extended. Now, you can exchange such notes till June 30, 2015.

As per the new notification issued in this regard, RBI has reiterated :

- That banks must "facilitate the exchange of such notes for full value without causing any inconvenience to the public, whatsoever"
- And also that "these notes will retain their legal tender status and the public can continue to use these for any transaction/ payment".

Banks have also been advised to stop re-issue of the pre-2005 series bank notes. They are neither to be dispensed through the ATMs nor over the counters.

In addition, RBI has also issued a Press Release "soliciting cooperation from the public in withdrawing these notes from circulation". People are urged to either "deposit the old design notes in their bank accounts or exchange them at a bank branch convenient to them".

The rationale behind such a move is to follow the standard international practice of not having currency notes in multiple series in circulation at the same time. It is now almost a decade since the notes in Mahatma Gandhi series have been in circulation. Meanwhile, a majority of the old notes have been withdrawn through bank branches. RBI, therefore, proposes to withdraw the remaining old design notes from circulation.

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