Mumbai: Who is accepting old notes today and who isn’t
It’s been over 12 hours since Prime Minister Narendra Modi surprised, or rather shocked, the nation by announcing the discontinuation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes from Tuesday.
Needless to say, the announcement sent everyone in a state of frenzy. Some, who had read and followed the news became the go-to people for information.
Those who had heard about the news from others, lined up wherever the old notes were still being accepted.
As of 12pm today, here’s a look at who is accepting the old notes and who isn’t:
# Small businesses, traders and vegetable sellers: Last night, many felt that the ‘short notice’ could adversely affect small business owners, who might not even be aware of the announcement. By morning, it was clear that anyone who thought that couldn’t be more wrong. Every business owner, big or small, is completely aware of the impact, with some even advising customers about how they can exchange their notes. We have it on good authority that most of them across the city are NOT accepting Rs 500 or Rs 1000 notes anymore.
# Petrol Pumps: Petrol pumps have to accept old notes till November 11, provided they keep a tab on how many they’ve accepted. At the moment, most pumps we’ve contacted are accepting old notes, but many do not have change to return to the customer. So as long as you’re giving them the exact amount, they will accept your Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes.
# Government Hospitals: There is heavy police presence across hospitals, but all of them are currently accepting old notes as directed. However, there is a problem with change. Hospitals may not have adequate change to give out. So if you’re visiting them for some reason, ensure you carry change.
# BEST Buses & Trains: Both BEST buses and trains have been directed to accept old notes. However, we have come across multiple instances where people have failed to get change back. One commuter claimed that he chose to travel without a ticket from Andheri since the teller was short on change, while another said he was asked to de-board the bus because of not tendering exact change.
# Toll Booths: Toll booths across the city are witnessing long queues as motorists are trying to pay with Rs 500 or Rs 1000 notes. Unfortunately, toll booths are not expected to collect old notes because of which they are asking motorists to give exact change or Rs 100 notes. As a result, massive queues have formed at Thane, Navi Mumbai and Bandra-Worli sealink toll collection points. Social media is also littered with messages urging authorities to waive off the toll for two days.
# Auto & Taxis: This shouldn’t come as a surprize, but no taxi or rickshaw driver is accepting old notes from passengers. Although one rickshaw driver asked a passenger from Khar to pay a little ‘extra’ is he wanted him to take the old Rs 500 note.
# Jewelers: We also have it on good authority that certain jewelers from Zaveri Bazaar are accepting old currency from customers who are buying gold today. Owing to the increased demand, gold prices have soared to around Rs 34,000 from Rs 30,000 overnight.
# Gift Vouchers: A salesman from a prominent showroom in Palladium, who wished to remain unnamed, said that the store is currently accepting old notes from customers buying gift vouchers.
UPDATE: Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis just announced that tolls and Mumbai Metro have been instructed to accept Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes till Nov 11.
We have been notified about certain individuals who are claiming to offer Rs 100 notes in lieu of Rs 500 or Rs 1000 notes by charging anywhere between 3 to 10 percent fee for the exchange.
Such schemes are not authorized by the government and are likely to be used by fraudsters to trap potential victims. Citizens are therefore advised to exercise caution on their part.