The government yesterday said there was no move to seal bank lockers and denied ink of the new Rs2,000 notes has been bleeding in some cases.
“Myth: Next move is to seal bank lockers and confiscate gold, diamonds and jewellery. Reality: This is baseless. There is no proposal to seal bank lockers and confiscate the jewellery,” the Finance Ministry tweeted.
The ministry also said the Rs2,000 notes have a safety feature, which is called ‘intaglio’ (a design that is incised or engraved into a material).
“To identify a genuine note when you rub it against a cloth, a turbo-electric effect is generated, and it is due to this that the note’s ink gets transferred on to the cloth,” the ministry said.
The ministry rebutted the rumours that the government’s demonetisation move was only a cosmetic exercise and that people would be able to find other ways to keep their black money.
“The enforcement agencies are keeping a vigil. Necessary changes have been made in Benami Transactions Act and in agreement of sharing information for curbing black money,” the ministry tweeted.
It also refuted reports that new notes have chips installed in it for keeping a tab on black money hoarders. “These are all baseless and imaginary reports,” it clarified.
In response to a “myth” that the cost of implementing the demonetisation move was greater than the profit it would yield, the ministry said: “Parallel economy casts shadow on the country’s economy and adversely impacts the poor and middle class.”
The ministry also denied allegations that some corporate houses and people close to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party were tipped off about government’s demonetisation move.
“All precautions were taken to keep the move confidential and nobody was aware about this move or its preparations,” it said in another tweet.
It also referred to a “myth” that the government was planning to demonetise Rs100 and Rs50 notes.
“It is completely baseless. The government has not thought of demonetising currency of any other denomination,” it said.
In a related development, the Supreme Court refused to stay for now petitions against the demonetisation filed in various high courts and subordinate courts.
“It indicates the magnitude of the problem is serious. People are going to the high courts for relief. This is a serious issue. Let them go,” said a bench of Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justice Anil R Dave as Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi urged the court to stay all such proceedings.
Meanwhile, people hustled in long queues outside banks and ATMs yesterday, struggling to get cash for their daily expenses on the ninth day since the government announced the notes ban.
They expressed frustration and disappointment over the long waits. And many of them were angry because their previous attempts had failed as many ATMs were non-functional or ran out of cash.
Prachi Agrawal, a resident of Mayur Vihar in east Delhi, said she supported the move. However, she was critical because “the government should have been more prepared with the availability of the new currency” notes.
She said the new notes of Rs500 and Rs2,000 were still unavailable largely, which had caused a huge demand-supply gap.
The government meanwhile slammed the opposition for continued disruptions in parliament and said the Congress was avoiding a debate to save itself from getting exposed over its opposition to cleansing of the system.