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Pre-2005 Notes Six Months More to Final Withdrawal

Feb 2014: RBI proposes to withdraw the bank notes issued prior to 2005, by Mar 31, 2014

Mar 2014: Withdrawal date extended to Dec 31, 2014

Dec 2014: Another extension granted up to Jun 30, 2015

Jun 2015: Yet another extension up to Dec 31, 2015

Dec 2015: Latest announcement of one more extension of pre-2005 banknotes up to Jun 30, 2016

There is, however, one major change with respect to this process of exchange of old pre-2005 series notes — instead of all bank branches, henceforth the facility of exchange would be available only at identified regional offices of the bank and Issue Offices of the Reserve Bank of India.

Banknotes in the new Mahatma Gandhi series, with better security features to prevent counterfeit notes, have been in circulation for more than a decade.

Besides, it is international practice not to have multiple series of banknotes in simultaneous circulation.

As such, while RBI has systematically withdrawn a majority of pre-2005 banknotes, this exercise is to solicit people's co-operation to completely phase out the remaining banknotes with old design, that are still in possession of the public.

Do you know how to distinguish between the pre-2005 banknotes and the new Mahatma Gandhi series?

Difference between the pre-2005 banknote and the new Mahatma Gandhi series


Banknote with the 'year of printing' at the back in the middle of the bottom row, belongs to the Mahamta Gandhi Series notes. Whereas notes that DO NOT have the 'year' printed on the reverse side are the old pre-2005 series notes. These are porposed to be withdrawn from circulation.

Plan of Action
(a) These banknotes, issued prior to 2005 under the older series, would be accepted for all transactions till the last extended date

(b) Subsequently, people will have to visit the specific bank branches, designated to provide the facility for exchange of notes on an ongoing basis

(c) Proof of identity and address would be required where non-customers submit more than ten notes of 500 / 1000 denominations

The Dos and Don'ts
- The pre-2005 notes continue to be a legal tender
- All denominations of pre-2005 series banknotes to be exchanged
- Notes to be accepted / exchanged by all bank branches from all, including non-customers
- The process of exchange should be smooth and as per the convenience of the people
- This exchange of banknotes is free of cost
- You can either exchange it for cash or credit to your account
- Exchange would be done at Full Value (or as per the RBI, Note Refund Rules, 2009 if the notes are in damaged condition)

- No restriction on the number of banknotes that you can exchange
- Banks to stop issuing pre-2005 series notes, either through ATMs or over the counter

Will we finally see an end to the pre-2005 banknotes? Or, will there be more extension(s)?

Only time will tell...

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