The cabinet has cleared the ordinance on criminal liability for banned notes on December 28. The government has announced that keeping the now illegal tender of Rs 500 and 1000 after March 31 2017 will be a punishable offence.
If anybody found keeping more than 10 demonetised notes after March 31 will be punished with imprisonment for 4 years along with a fine of Rs. 50, 000.
The government officials have stated that barring the deposition of old notes will help the government to make better projections for the Union Budget 2017-18 with better estimating the money coming back to the system. Further, the three month duration, from January 1st 2017 to March 31 2017, the RBI specified offices will be facilitating for depositing old notes.
The government has earlier announced that December 20 is the last day to deposit the now illegal tender after which the banks will not accept old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes.
Several media reports further suggested that government will also set a new law under a person owning or even transferring and exchanging illegal tender would be punished.
People will have to deposit old notes directly to the Reserve Bank of India after December 30.
PM Narendra Modi shocked the nation when he announced his decision to scrap higher denomination currency notes on 8 November forcing the people to form serpentine queues outside banks to exchange and deposit notes.
The move led to massive crunch across the country causing grave inconvenience to people. People across the nation started looking for alternatives to deal with the cash chaos.
The opposition parties have been criticising Modi for the move and the manner in which it was implemented.
The demand for currency notes has risen after the Modi government announced demonetisation move, scrapping the old Rs 1,000 and 500 notes and introducing the Rs 2,000 and 500 denominations. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had stated that the government was taking to decision to deal with black money menace, The government went on to urge people to go cashless and repeatedly promoted digital economy asking people to use plastic money, i.e debit and credit cards.
The Income Tax department also conducted raids across the country post demonetisation and seized huge amount of money from people who had allegedly stashed unaccounted wealth.