New Delhi, Dec 21: The U-turn by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Wednesday withdrawing its circular of Monday may lead to further confusion.
The question that still remains: Are multiple deposits till December 30 allowed?
In its circular of December 19, the RBI had said that deposit of old Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes would be allowed only once till December 30.
That same evening, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the one-time deposit till December 30 would not invite scrutiny by bank officials.
On Tuesday, Jaitley emphasised that only one-time deposit would be allowed.
On Wednesday, the RBI notified that it was withdrawing the first two paras of its Monday notification for KYC-compliant accounts.
That would mean that the clause on one-time deposit — which was in part one — too goes out.
By doing this, the RBI has now contradicted what the Finance Minister said on Monday and reiterated on Tuesday — that deposits can be made only once.
The confusion would only get removed by another notification, and clear explanation, by the RBI.
On Tuesday, banks were wary about taking in deposits above Rs 5,000 because the Monday notification had also said that credit to a person’s account should only be done after questioning by two bank officials and on “receiving a satisfactory explanation” as to why the amount could not be deposited earlier.
This subjective satisfaction of bankers had resulted in indecision in banks with most managers saying that it was not their job to assess whether an explanation by depositors was “satisfactory”.
The circular had also come in for criticism from the people and political parties who pointed out that both the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister had repeatedly assured that old notes, without any condition, would be accepted till December 30.
The government had demonetised Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes on November 8.
The Monday circular had stated: (i) Tenders of SBNs (Specified Bank Notes) in excess of Rs 5,000 into a bank account will be received for credit only once during the remaining period till December 30, 2016. The credit in such cases shall be afforded only after questioning tenderer, on record, in the presence of at least two officials of the bank, as to why this could not be deposited earlier and receiving a satisfactory explanation.
The explanation should be kept on record to facilitate an audit trail at a later stage. An appropriate flag also should be raised in the CBS (Core Banking Solution) to that effect so that no more tenders are allowed.
(ii) Tenders of SBNs up to Rs 5,000 in value received across the counter will be allowed to be credited to bank accounts in the normal course until December 30, 2016. Even when tenders smaller than Rs 5,000 are made in an account and such tenders taken together on cumulative basis exceed Rs 5,000 they may be subject to the procedure to be followed in case of tenders above Rs 5,000, with no more tenders being allowed thereafter until December 30, 2016.
Wednesday’s circular said: On review of the above, we advise that the provisions of the above cicular at sub para (i) and (ii) will not apply to KYC compliant accounts.
Non-KYC accounts have Rs 50,000 limit on deposits and will be subject to norms (i) and (ii) of Monday’s circular.