In a surprise move, the government receded the deadline for use of old Rs 500 notes at petrol pumps and at airports till December 2, against December 15 deadline announced earlier.
According to well placed sources, the decision was taken in the wake of the facility’s misuse to launder black money.
An official government notification, announcing the decision, said,
“With effect from December 3, 2016, old Rs 500 notes cannot be used for purchase of petrol, diesel and gas at the stations operating under authorisation of public sector oil marketing companies and for buying airline tickets at airport counters.”
Since the demonetization of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes, announced on November 8 and brought into effect a day later, the government had allowed certain vendors to accept the defunct currency for a period of 72 hours.
During that period, the government tried its best to infuse new currency into circulation. But it did little to improve the condition of the cash-strapped economy. As a result, it extended the deadline two more times.
The third time, on November 24, the government limited the list of vendors who could accept the old notes and restricted the exchange of Rs 1000 notes.
As a result, old notes could only be used for payment of fuel purchase, airline ticket booking, utility bills like electricity and water, school fees and pre-paid mobile top-up.
Per the latest announcement, old Rs 500 notes would continue to be accepted at other outlets. However, it would no longer be accepted as legal tender for buying fuel at petrol pumps and airline tickets at airport counters.
Even toll plazas on national highways, which were supposed to accept old notes once the payment collection suspension was lifted, can no longer accept Rs 500 notes. The payment collection will start from December 3.
As a result, payment at petrol pumps, airports and toll plazas will have to be made in Rs 2000, new Rs 500, Rs 100 or lower denomination notes from December 3.Back to latest news