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RBI says banks to remain open on Saturday and Sunday

The Indian government on Tuesday scrapped 500 and 1000 rupee notes in a bid to curb black money

Reserve Bank of India on Wednesday said that banks across the country will remain open on the coming Saturday and Sunday to facilitate smooth transaction.

The RBI announcement comes after the government scrapped 500 and 1000 rupee notes in a bid to curb black money. The banks and ATMs were closed in the country today.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the current 500 and 1000 rupee notes will not be valid on Wednesday onwards and asked to the country to deposit or exchange in banks or post office across the country.

However, reports earlier said the public has only one day to withdraw the newly introduced 500 and 2000 rupees notes for survival for next 3 days and also to exchange the banned currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 due to continuous bank holidays.

The national banks including State Bank of India and ICIC have announced an extension in banking hours to help people make transactions easily. ICICI Bank Managing Director and CEO Chanda Kochhar reportedly said the bank’s branches will be open till 2000 hrs on Thursday and Friday.

Earlier, PM announced this decision to take the currencies out of circulation saying the corruption, black money and terrorism are holding back the economy.

The government on Wednesday  stated that people can deposit as much cash as they want in banks to get new notes but shouldn’t take it as an amnesty scheme for undisclosed income.

“But it should be clear that it is no immunity scheme. This (deposit) does not provide any relief from taxation. The law of land will apply (on source of fund),” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said.

Meanwhile, former finance minister a Congress leader P. Chidambaram said a similar moves in 1978 failed to curb black money.

Stressing he does not encourage or support unaccounted wealth or income, Chidambaram also said that here’s a non-monetised economy in the country and you can’t call it black money.

“Bulk of this money is legitimate money and Govt as well as banks should replace the old notes quickly” he said.

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