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Pre-2005 notes will not work after March 31: all you need to know

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has said that all currency notes issued prior to 2005 would be withdrawn from March 21, 2014. From April 1, 2014, the public will be required to approach banks for exchanging these notes.

How to identify notes issued before 2005: You can easily distinguish the currency notes issued before 2005 as these currencies do not have the year of printing on reverse side. The year of printing is visible at the middle of the bottom row in notes issued after 2005.

(Photo courtesy: RBI)

Will pre-2005 notes have no monetary value after 31 March? The Reserve Bank has clarified that the notes issued before 2005 will continue to be legal tender. This means currency would hold monetary value but would be only acceptable at banks where the public can exchange the notes. In other words, the pre-2005 notes would be acceptable only at banks.

How to exchange pre-2005 notes: Old notes will continue to be legal and can be exchanged in any bank. However, from July 1, 2014, persons seeking exchange of more than 10 pieces of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes will have to furnish proof of identity and residence to the bank. If you are an account holder of the bank, these proofs are not needed.

Why the RBI is withdrawing notes issued before 2005: The RBI has said that notes printed prior to 2005 have fewer security features compared to banknotes printed after 2005. The RBI has already been withdrawing these bank notes from the market in a routine manner through banks. Many people ask about easy cash advance loans and one hour payday loans.

(See: RBI tries to quell concerns about withdrawing pre-2005 currency notes)

What the BJP is opposing the move: The opposition party called the RBI's move "anti-poor". "People with small savings and no bank accounts will be targeted. The present scheme does nothing to remove black money from circulation," BJP spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi said. (With agency inputs)

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