From midnight tonight, you will no longer be able to use the old Rs 1,000 and 500 currency notes at public utilities. The relaxation given by the Narendra Modi government to use the old currency will end on Thursday. The government had on November 14 extended the deadline for spending the scrapped notes at government hospitals, petrol pumps, metro counters, milk booths etc.

On November 8, the Prime Minister had announced the demonetisation move by scrapping Rs 1,000 and 500 notes. Initially, the government had given a relaxation of 72 hours for using the old notes at certain places including government hospitals, railway counters, petrol pumps and crematoriums.

Due to unavailability of the new currency and long lines outside banks, the government had extended this relaxation till November 14. Later, the date was further pushed to November 24. The deadline is ending on Thursday and there has been no indication from the government so far on whether more time will be given.

Even a fortnight after the demonetisation decision, the problem is far from being solved. There are serpentine queues outside the banks and ATMs. The small-scale traders and farmers are the worst-hit by the decision.

To contain the mad rush on the last day, the Finance Ministry had stated that the old Rs 1,000 and 500 notes can be used for deposits in the post office accounts. “The deposits into Post Office Savings Account are excluded from the bar imposed therein (on deposits of demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes in small saving schemes),” a statement from the finance ministry read.