The ordinance that the Union Cabinet was believed to have passed on Wednesday, which will penalise citizens for possessing more than Rs 10,000 in demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes after March 31, 2017, will be presented for to President Pranab Mukherjee for approval soon. The order will come into effect on December 31.
While earlier reports said that the penalty for possessing, transferring or receiving the old bills could be a four-year jail term, the Finance Ministry on Thursday clarified that the offence will not include a jail term, but a minimum fine of Rs 10,000, PTI reported.
On Wednesday, reports had speculated that the Union Cabinet had approved the ordinance, including another to amend the Reserve Bank of India Act to remove their liability and the central bank’s on the scrapped notes. However, there was no official confirmation on the details of the order.
The government had, on November 8, demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, which made up 86% of India’s currency, saying the move would help smoke out those hoarding black money. It has since said that the decision will also push India into becoming a cashless economy. The move has been widely criticised by the Opposition and economists, and citizens have faced a massive cash crunch ever since.