Just as Prime Minister Narendra Modi had warned, getting used to the overnight scrapping of the highest-denomination currency notes brought inconveniences.
Here are the highlights of the day and how India coped with the instant scrapping of the 500 & 1000 Rupee notes:
- Banks and ATMs were closed today leaving lakhs of people scrambling to buy groceries and tickets for public transport. Many commuters were locked into long traffic jams as toll plazas refused to accept the notes that were abolished at midnight.
- Banks will reopen tomorrow and stay open this weekend to help people swap 500 and 1,000 rupee notes which are now banned, said the Reserve Bank of India
- State-run petrol pumps and government hospitals have been warned that they must abide by an order to take the old currency notes till the same deadline.
- National highways will charge no toll till midnight on Friday; toll booths on other major freeways have been asked to accept old notes till then
- The PM’s initiative has been praised by banks, financial experts and entrepreneurs. Infosys founder NR Narayan Murthy declared it a “masterstroke.”
- The new banknotes of 500 and 2,000 rupee denominations will be available in ATMs starting Friday, officials said.
- At ATMs, there will be an initial daily cap of 2,000 rupees on withdrawal per card, which will be increased to 4,000 rupees within a week.
- Opposition leaders say the move will hurt the poor, many of whom do not have bank accounts and keep their savings in cash.
We’re expecting this move to change the fiscal deficit into a fiscal surplus as this is going to gather trillions!