The Reserve Bank of India on Wednesday directed all banks to remain open to the public this coming weekend to help them exchange their now invalid Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. The order comes in the wake of the Centre's decision to demonetise currency notes of these denominations in an attempt to curb black money transactions and the use of counterfeit notes.
The Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia on Wednesday announced that all cash deposited between November 10 and December 30 above Rs 2.5 lakh would be reported, and that cash outside of any undeclared income would be taxed as well as fined 200%. Adhia said any amount beyond Rs 2.5 lakh that does not match a citizen's tax returns will be treated as tax evasion, and that tax officials have been assigned to cross-check the details.
Those buying jewellery will have to furnish their Permanent Account Numbers, ANI reported.
All banks and ATMs in the country remained closed on Wednesday after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced his government's decision on Tuesday. Following his surprise address to the nation, people flocked to ATMs to withdraw money and to petrol pumps and counters of bus and railway stations to gather change for the Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes.
While banks reopen on Thursday, ATMs in a few places will remain closed. New Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 notes will be in circulation from Thursday, and people can exchange their old notes for new ones at any bank or post office by providing ID proof.
Meanwhile, a lawyer in Uttar Pradesh has filed a public interest litigation in the Supreme Court, challenging the Centre's decision to scrap the notes. Sangam Lal Pandey, who called the government's move "arbitrary" and a "huge inconvenience" to the public, has sought an urgent listing of his petition for Thursday, according to News18.
Earlier in the day, the Centre announced that all national highways will be toll tax free till midnight on Friday. Congress leader P Chidambaram has called for the speedy replacement of the old notes with the new to cause "minimum problems for the poor and middle-class", while West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has demanded that the "draconian decision" be withdrawn.