Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das on Thursday said that all denominations of currency, including Rs 1,000 notes, will be reintroduced with new designs and features from time to time. However, he clarified that legal tender status of existing Rs 100, Rs 50 and other denomination notes will remain the same.
The Centre’s decision to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, announced on November 8, did not go down well with many in the political and business circles. Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati on Thursday called the move selfish and questioned its timing. “If they really wanted to curb black money then why did they take this decision after two years,” she said. She said the Bharatiya Janata Party government had created an Emergency-like situation to “hide their inefficiency” ahead of the 2017 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections. Mayawati said that only people from Gujarat and Mumbai would benefit from the initiative.
Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav said the government’s decision has led to anarchy in the country and that common people were not being able to buy essential items. “If anybody has fought against black money after Ram Manohar Lohia, it is Samajwadi Party,” he said, adding that the Centre had taken the decision with the upcoming state elections in mind. Yadav demanded that the government roll back the ban for a few days so that people had the opportunity to prepare for it.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had earlier urged the government to roll back the “draconian decision”. She had said she was deeply concerned about how the move would affect small traders and farmers, even though she was “strongly against black money”.
New notes of Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 were introduced on Thursday.
This is what the new notes look like: