With Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announcing that all Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes currently in circulation were banned from November 8 midnight, banks were also instructed to ensure that they did their part to ensure that the scrapping was implemented with immediate effect.
Banks also have on them the onerous task of not only exchanging Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes for new Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 notes, but also ensuring that their ATMs adhere to the instructions given out by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in this regard. ATMs were already crowded on Tuesday evening, just before they closed for a day.
Here is everything that you need to know about when and for how long ATMs and banks will be closed, and when they will finally reopen, and how they will function when they eventually do open for business.
- The RBI has issued instructions on the closure of ATMs and banks to the chairmen and managing director or chief executive officers of all scheduled commercial banks, including RRBs, urban cooperative banks, state cooperative banks, district central cooperative banks, authorised ATM network operators, card payment network operators and white-label ATM operators.
- The RBI letter to the banks and ATM operators says: "The Government of India has withdrawn from immediate effect (midnight of November 8, 2016) the legal tender character of the existing and any older series banknotes in the denominations of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000. As such, dispensing of these Old High Denomination (OHD) banknotes by banks through their ATMs has to be stopped from midnight of November 8, 2016."
- It adds: "In order to facilitate the banks to prepare themselves for the same, all public sector, private sector and Foreign banks, RRBs, urban co-op banks and state Co-op banks have already been advised to remain closed for public transactions on November 9, 2016."
- It also says: "It has been decided that all ATMs will remain closed for operations from the midnight of November 8, 2016, so that they do not dispense the withdrawn OHD banknotes. The ATMs may resume functioning from November 11, 2016, upon their recalibration to dispense bank notes of only Rs 50 and Rs 100 denominations."
- Banks and ATM switches may take necessary steps to initiate this measure with immediate effect for both on-us and off-us transactions.
- Banks have also been instructed to "provide all cash withdrawal transactions at their ATMs free of cost to their customers till December 30, 2016."
- The RBI has also said: "It has also been decided that banks may fix a limit of Rs 2000 per day per card withdrawal limit at ATMs, for all their customers, till November 18, 2016."
- The instructions have been issued under Section 10(2) read with Section 18 of the Payment and Settlement Systems Act 2007.
In short, all banks and ATMs will remain close on November 9. As Modi had said, some ATMs will function on November 10, but others might not. Expect full functioning of ATMs and banks to begin on November 11. Meanwhile, here are the instructions on what to do with those Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes you have.