The Centre has cut short the deadline for using old Rs 500 notes at petrol pumps and buying airline tickets at airports – the notes will not be accepted after Friday, December 2, PTI reported on Thursday. Earlier, the deadline to use the scrapped notes at these places was December 15.

The decision to advance the deadline has come after an assessment that the exemption was being misused to launder black money, reported The Times of India quoting sources. Since the cash situation has improved significantly, there was no reason to continue with the exemption, the report added.

On the night of November 8, when Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes were demonetised in a surprise announcement by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the government had allowed the use of the old notes at petrol pumps and to book airline tickets for 72 hours. The deadline was later extended twice. While Rs 1,000 notes were gradually banned, Rs 500 notes were still in use at these counters.

On November 24, Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of State of Petroleum and Natural Gas, had said that Rs 500 notes will continue to be accepted till December 15. The scrapped notes can now be used at railway ticketing counters and for utility bill payments till December 15.

Meanwhile, the suspension of toll collection on national highways has been extended till December 2 midnight. The Rs 500 notes will continue to be accepted at toll plazas till December 15.