RBI extends deadline for swapping pre-2005 notes to 1 January 2015

The Reserve Bank on Monday granted an additional nine months for the public to exchange currency notes printed before 2005, including those in the Rs500 and Rs1,000 denominations, and set a deadline of 1 January 2015.

RBI has advised banks to facilitate the exchange of these notes for full value and without causing any inconvenience whatsoever to the public.

The central bank clarified that the public "can continue to freely use these notes for transactions and can unhesitatingly receive these notes in payment as all such notes remain legal tender.''

At the same time, the Reserve Bank has sought cooperation of the public in withdrawing these notes from circulation by exchanging them at a bank branch convenient to them.

On 22 January, the RBI had announced it would withdraw from circulation all pre-2005 currency notes from 1 April and had advised the public to approach banks to exchange such notes.

Currency notes issued before 2005 do not have the year of printing on the reverse side.

In notes issued after 2005, the year of printing is visible at the bottom of the reverse side. The RBI said the withdrawal is in conformity with the standard international practice of not having multiple series of notes in circulation at the same time.

"A majority of such notes have already been withdrawn through the banks and only a limited number of notes remain with the public" the RBI said.

The Reserve Bank said it would continue to monitor and review the process of withdrawal of the notes so that the public is not inconvenienced in any manner.

Post-2005 notes have added security features and help in curbing the menace of fake currency, according to RBI.

The central bank had, earlier, withdrawn a certain series of currency notes at the bank level although the public were not asked to get them replaced.