Demonetization might have affected every Indian differently, but thanks to social media and instant messaging everyone has had to face the brunt of the ‘unending’ rumours surrounding the decision, including some future predictions.
Here’s a list of rumours that are currently making rounds, but have been debunked by official sources:
1. GPS chip in Rs 2000 note
Rumour: It was rumoured that the new Rs 2000 note has a GPS chip which could essentially track its movement as it ‘exchanged hands’.
Reality: RBI dismissed the rumour, calling it a ‘figment of someone’s imagination’. The RBI spokesperson also said a technology of this sort does not exist at the moment and it was therefore impossible for them to introduce it as a ‘feature’.
2. Sealing bank lockers
Rumour: It was rumoured that the government plans to seal bank lockers next. Once sealed, the lockers could only be opened in the presence of a government official.
Reality: The Ministry of Finance issued a clarification stating that there was no plan to seal people’s bank lockers.
3. Fake Rs 2000 note sheds color
Rumour: It was rumoured that fake Rs 2000 note sheds color after coming in contact with water.
Reality: It’s actually the other way round. Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das explained that the new notes will lose colour if rubbed with a piece of wet cloth because of the dye. If the note does not lose colour, it may be a sign that it is fake.
4. Demonetization of Rs 100, Rs 50
Rumour: It was rumoured that after Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes, PM Modi was going to announce the demonetization of smaller denominations.
Reality: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley rubbished the rumours and said there are plans to demonetize smaller denomination currency.
5. Printing error on Rs 2000 note
Rumour: It was rumoured that some Rs 2000 notes had a printing error where ‘do’ was written as ‘don’ in Hindi and ‘hazaar’ was written as ‘bazaar’ in Urdu.
Reality: The RBI has clarified that there are no printing errors on the new Rs 2000 note.
6. Confiscating gold, diamonds and jewellery
Rumour: It was rumoured that after high value currency, the government had set its sight on confiscating ‘unaccounted’ gold, diamonds and jewellery.
Reality: The Ministry of Finance debunked the rumour stating that there is no proposal to confiscate any individual’s gold, diamonds and jewellery.
7. Shelf life of new currency
Rumour: It was rumoured that the new Rs 500 and Rs 2000 notes were going to be made defunct and replaced with new ones in the next three years.
Reality: A senior official with the ministry of finance clarified that there are no plans to replace the new notes.
8. Withdrawing money from RBI
Rumour: It was rumoured that individuals could skip long queues at banks by withdrawing money directly from RBI, as long as they had a stamp from the area DCP.
Reality: The Delhi Police rubbished this rumour and clarified that the RBI will not entertain any such request.
9. Black money can be converted into white by depositing cash in other’s accounts
Rumour: It was rumoured that anyone can easily convert black money into white by depositing money in other people’s accounts, especially the one’s who’ve never used their account before.
Reality: The Ministry of Finance clarified that people who allow others to deposit unaccounted money in their bank accounts will be liable to pay tax/penalty and prosecuted for abetment under Income Tax act.
Meanwhile, even as both centre and law enforcement agencies are consistently trying to dispel rumours, citizens are advised to not share or circulate any message which does not come from a verified source.
Police have also stated that those caught spreading ‘baseless’ rumours will be prosecution under Section 153 & 505 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) along with relevant sections of Information Technology Act.