New Delhi [India], Nov 19 : Banks across the country have started to exchange old 500 and 1,000 rupee notes for only senior citizens.
Indian Banks' Association (IBA) Chairman Rajeev Rishi said working hours at banks on Saturday would be devoted to their own customers and added that only senior citizens have been exempted with regard to the exchange of currency notes at various bank branches across the country.
Rishi said, the decision is only for Saturday, and from Monday onwards, all customers will be allowed to exchange their notes at a branch of any bank.
The IBA chairman also said, after using indelible ink, queues have substantially been reduced. Indelible ink is being used on the right hand index finger of customers to stop repeat money exchangers thronging banks with invalid currency notes.
Meanwhile, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said that replacing 86 percent of the currency notes with new ones could not have been executed in better way than was currently being done.
He said replacing such a large currency without any social unrest and any significant economic disruption was an achievement.
He maintained that currency replacement is moving smoothly and queues are getting smaller every day. He said, the government has to make sure the currency reaches rural areas in the next fortnight. Jaitley said demonetisation will help banks lend at a cheaper rate to businesses, trade, agriculture and infrastructure while at the same time getting rid of the shadow economy.
In a separate development to ease the anxiety of people over the ongoing demonetisation, cash against a debit card swipe has taken off at 700 petrol pumps.
The government has decided to allow up to 2,000 per day per person to be dispensed against swiping of debit cards at selected petrol pumps where POS machines of SBI are already available.
POS machines are the machines which are generally used for debit or credit card transactions. It was decided to start this facility at around 2,500 petrol pumps spread across the country, including rural areas, where SBI POS machines are provided.
An official release said the oil Industry is in further discussions with SBI and other banks to extend this facility to over 20,000 petrol pumps gradually.