New Delhi: Two year ago on 8 November, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the biggest-ever demonetisation exercise India has ever seen by abruptly withdrawing Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes from public use to clamp down on black money, fake currency menace, terror funding and corruption.
The PM said there are certain exemptions for the first 72 hours, including permission to use old currency in government hospitals, for buying fuel, medicines, train tickets, airline tickets, in government buses and for paying utility bills. Exchange of notes were initially allowed up to Rs 4,000 while cash withdrawal at ATMs was capped at Rs 2,000 per card per day and withdrawal at banks were allowed with a limit of Rs 10,000 per day and Rs 20,000 per week. Since then, rules have changed many times.
The RBI announced earlier that around 99 per cent of demonetised currency came back into the banking system. The value of the demonetised currency on November 8, 2016 stood at Rs 15.44 lakh crore and notes worth Rs 15.28 lakh crore worth of demonetised notes were deposited into banks.
Timeline of PM Modi’s biggest-ever note ban exercise
August 25, 2017: RBI issues new currency notes of Rs 50 and Rs 200 denominations.
August 23, 2017: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley refutes all notions that the government may be planning to ban Rs 2,000 notes.
August 14, 2017: Centre says that 2.83 crore IT returns were filed with an increase of 24.7 per cent.
August 11, 2017: A paper by the RBI says that there was unusual deposit of around Rs 1.7 lakh crore after demonetisation.
July 17, 2017: Upon the Supreme Court’s urge to consider providing another window for depositing demonetised currency for genuine individuals who couldn’t deposit it earlier, Centre says it would defeat the purpose of demonetisation.
July 23, 2017: The Centre submitted before the apex court that Rs 71,941 crore of undisclosed income had been unearthed in the previous three years due to IT search and seizures.
July 16, 2017: Government officials brief a parliamentary panel saying that there was only a seven per cent increase in debit and credit card transactions after demonetisation against the total surge of 23 per cent in digital transactions. The digital transactions in November 2016 were 22.4 million but rose to 27.5 million by May 2017.
July 12, 2017: RBI Governor Urjit Patel appeared before a parliamentary panel to inform that the RBI was still in the process of counting the demonetised notes that found their way back into the banks.
June 21, 2017: Banks and post offices granted permission by the Centre to deposit junked notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denomination to the RBI latest by July 20. This was the second such window that the government provided banks, post offices and cooperative banks.
June 2, 2017: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said it will be erroneous to attribute the sharp drop in GDP growth rate during the fourth quarter of 2016-17 fiscal only to demonetisation.
May 17, 2017: Government launches Clean Money Portal. The Centre’s estimates said around 91 lakh new taxpayers had been brought under the tax net and it had detected, in the six months post demonetisation, undisclosed income worth Rs 23,144 crore.
May 11, 2017: Point of sale machines installed at a significant scale. Data revealed banks added over 10 lakh PoS machines from November 2016 to March 2017 in cash crunch.
April 27, 2017: After repeated appeals, the RBI agrees to submit the minutes of meeting of demonetisation before a parliamentary panel, though in a sealed cover.
April 19, 2017: The Central Board of Direct Taxes sets a deadline of May 31 for completing verification of data of cash deposits under the Operation Clean Money.
April 6, 2017: Cash logistics firms reveal that they were yet to receive Rs 110 crore meant to recalibrate ATMs for the new currency notes.
April 1, 2017: This was the last day when exchange of demonetised currency was allowed.
March 21, 2017: The Supreme Court of India asked the Central government why it was unable to create a separate category for people who were unable to deposit their demonetised case before the December 30, 2016 deadline just like it had done for the NRIs and people not present in India at the time.
March 20, 2017: IT sleuths zero down on Mumbai-based trader in the first crackdown by government agencies after demonetisation.
March 13, 2017: All limits imposed on cash withdrawals enforced post demonetisation by RBI lifted and restored. Banks free to put limits that existed before demonetisation.
February, 28, 2017: The statistics department comes out with growth numbers. GDP growth rate found to have slowed to 7 per cent during October-December 2016 quarter.
February 27, 2017: Strikes seen across the country. Banking operations brought to halt. Bank employees demand increased injection of cash as well as some relief in workload.
February 21, 2017: DEA Secretary Shaktikanta Das says that the note ban was discussed first with the RBI as back as February 2016.
January 31, 2017: Income Tax department sends notices to around 18 lakh taxpayers to give explanations of large deposits made into accounts after demonetisation. Also, the Economic Survey 2016/17 says note ban reduced GDP growth by up to 0.5 per cent in ficsal year 2017.