Holding more than 10 demonetised notes of Rs 500 or Rs 1000 will now be punishable with a minimum of Rs 10,000 fine, the government has said on Thursday. This comes a day after after the initial ruling had said that there would be a fine of Rs 50,000 and 4 years of jail term, reports PTI.
The Specified Bank Notes Cessation of Liabilities Ordinance, approved on Wednesday by the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, allows individuals to hold no more than 10 notes of the old currency. It allows 25 such currencies to be held by research scholars. Top sources said the ordinance, which will be sent to the President for his assent shortly, will come into effect from December 31.
It provides for making holding of old 1,000 and 500 rupee notes after March 31 a criminal offence that will attract a fine of Rs. 10,000 or five times the cash held, whichever is higher.
Furnishing wrong information while depositing the old currency between January 1 and March 31 – a window provided only for exigencies – will attract a fine of Rs. 5,000 or five times the amount, whichever is higher.
The ordinance also provides for amending the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Act to provide legislative support for extinguishing the demonetised banknotes that are not returned. The 50-day window for depositing the old notes in bank accounts and post offices expires on 30th December.
The ordinance will have to be converted into proper legislation by passing of a law in Parliament within six months.