In a move that may not go down well with many people, the government has cut down the date till which you can use your old Rs 500 notes to December 2, from December 15 earlier. The government had earlier extended the deadline for use of old Rs 500 notes at petrol pumps and airline counters. This means that with effect from December 3 you cannot use your old Rs 500 notes for purchase of petrol, diesel and gas at the stations operating under authorisation of public sector oil marketing companies and for buying airline tickets at airport counters, a government notification said. The government is constantly reviewing the situation on ground and announcing new guidelines every few days.
While junking old 500 and 1,000 rupee notes on November 8, the government had allowed their use for utility bill payments for 72 hours. This deadline was extended twice and when the last one was to expire on November 24, it amended it to state that only the old 500 rupee notes could be used for payment of utility bills like electricity and water, school fees, pre-paid mobile top-up, fuel purchase and airline ticket booking.
While the old note will continue to be accepted for the other utility bill payments as well as at railway ticketing counters and counters of government or public sector undertaking buses for purchase of bus tickets till December 15, it will be discontinued for purchase of fuel and airline tickets at airport counters. Also, the government has dropped earlier announced plan to allow the use of 500 rupee notes for payment of toll at national highways from December 3.
Toll payment in both old 500 and 1,000 rupee notes was accepted till December 2 and from December 3 it was to be limited in 500 rupee notes. But now this facility too has been withdrawn. So from December 3, fuel purchase, airline ticket booking at airport counters and highway toll payment would be allowed only in lower denomination currency or the new 500 and 2,000 rupee notes. Sources said the move to curtail use of old notes at petrol pumps and highway toll plazas follows reports of the facility being misused to launder black money.
(With inputs from PTI)