New restrictions on deposits ‘desperate measures of desperate govt’: Chidambaram

Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram today said the new RBI cap on deposits of has left the poor and middle class high and dry and termed it as a desperate measures of a desperate government.
deposits, Chidambaram, RBI, Modi, Jaitley Source: PTI
India TV Politics Desk New Delhi December 20, 2016 17:44 IST

Dubbing the new restrictions on deposit of old currency notes as "desperate measures of a desperate government", former Finance Minister P Chidambaram today said the new RBI cap on deposits of has left the poor and middle-class high and dry.

In a series of tweets on the new restrictions, Chidambaram said the RBI announcement amounted to breaking Prime Minister Narendra Modi's promise of November 8 and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's assurance of November 11 that all the demonetised currency will be accepted till December 30 without any restrictions.

The Reserve Bank of India on Monday imposed stiff restrictions on depositing more than Rs 5,000 in the scrapped Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, mandating that it can be deposited only once per account till December 30, that too after explaining to bank officials the reasons for not having done that so far. 

“Desperate govt resorting to desperate measures. Breaking PM's promise of Nov 8 and FM's assurance of Nov 11. RBI makes new rule on deposit, FM contradicts. Who should citizen believe? Neither has credibility,” the Congress MP said. 

“Hoarders have laundered their old notes. The poor and middle class left high and dry,” Chidambaram added. 

In another tweet, he wondered, "Old notes usable until Dec 15. Why can't we deposit remaining notes until Dec 30 as notified?" 

Chidambaram's sharp reaction came on the day his party's vice-president Rahul Gandhi mocked the RBI saying the central bank is “changing rules like the PM changes his clothes.” 

On Tuesday, Jaitley clarified that people won't be questioned if they deposit old currency of any amount at one go.

After banning old 500 and 1,000 rupee notes on November 8, the government had allowed all of the cash holdings with any person to be deposited in bank accounts till December 30. 

There was no limit on the quantity or value of the demonetised notes that could be deposited. 

However, the government on December 17 issued a gazette notification putting restrictions on deposits henceforth. 

Chidambaram had only yesterday hit out at RBI Governor Urjit Patel, saying that he was "extremely disappointed" that the central bank chief did not handle the demonetisation issue as any "independent autonomous institution should have". 

"I am extremely disappointed that Mr Urjit Patel did not handle this matter (demonetisation) as any independent autonomous institution should have handled," Chidambaram said in an interview to a private TV channel.

RBI, he said, compromised its independence and integrity which were acquired over the years under different governors.

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