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Chaos at Indian banks continue as two most widespread notes withdrawn

Chaos at Indian banks continue as two most widespread notes withdrawn In India several ATMs have run out of cash and long queues continue outside banks as three days ago 500 and 1,000 rupee notes were withdrawn as part of anti-corruption measures, BBC said on Friday.

The surprise government move is aimed at tackling corruption and tax evasion. But many low-income Indians, traders and ordinary savers who rely on the cash economy have been badly hit.

After Prime Minister Narendra Modi's announcement on Tuesday night, the banks were closed on Wednesday.

Thousands of panicked Indians have been flocking to banks since they reopened on Thursday as the two notes accounted for about 85% of the cash in circulation. Banks have extended working hours and deployed additional staff to deal with the rush.

Some bank officials said they had also brought in extra cash to deal with the situation.

The 500 ($7) and 1,000 ($15) rupee notes are the highest denomination notes in the country and are extremely common in India. Airports, railway stations, hospitals and fuel stations will only accept them until the end of today.

People will be able to exchange their money at banks between 10 November and 30 December.

Asking if there are any limits for exchange, government guidelines say it is possible to exchange up to 4,000 rupees per day up to 24 November - anything over this will be subject to tax laws. People can also withdraw up to 10,000 rupees from a bank per day and a maximum of 20,000 rupees per week.

New 2,000 and 500 rupee denomination notes with new security features are being given to people to replace those removed from circulation.

A new 1,000 rupee note "with a new dimension and design" will also be introduced in due course, a senior government official said on Thursday.
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