Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh ideologue, journalist and chartered accountant S Gurumurthy on Monday said the newly issued Rs 2,000 notes will be phased out within five years, India Today reported. His statements hold weight as the Centre reportedly consults him on the implementation of the demonetisation drive, which made Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes illegal.
Gurumurthy told the news channel that the Rs 2,000 note was introduced to “bridge the gap” caused by the demonetisation of Rs 1,000 notes. He then said the Rs 2,000 notes will not be declared illegal, but that they will be replaced with currency of lower denominations. The RSS ideologue said Rs 500 should be the highest denomination in Indian currency, followed by Rs 250 and Rs 100 notes.
Leaders of Opposition parties including Mamata Banerjee and Rahul Gandhi have raised doubts over how the newly issued notes will eliminate corruption and black money, as promised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 8.
Several people, many of them elderly, have died while standing in long queues to exchange their money and many have killed themselves after thinking that their life’s savings have been reduced to nothing. In November, a 56-year-old bank manager in Haryana’s Rohtak district died after reportedly working three days and nights at a stretch, reported Hindustan Times. A bank employee in Pune died of heart attack on November 16 after working 12-hour shifts handling large crowds. Deaths have also been reported after hospitals refused to treat patients because they furnished old notes, among them an infant.
The Supreme Court had observed that the long queues outside banks were a serious problem and could even lead to riots, even as Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said the queues were getting shorter and people were waiting patiently.