Nine days ago, Prime Minister Narendra Modi surprised the nation with a sudden announcement of banning Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes in order to contain the circulation of black money and curb corruption. Since then, every day has been eventful with protests, chaos, and of course new announcements. In the mid of all that the number of demonetisation-related deaths has crossed 55.
Here are the highlights of the day so far:
1) Slew of measures announced by the government
— The government tightened notes exchange norms by lowering the exchange limit for now-defunct Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes to Rs 2,000 from the existing cap of Rs 4,500, effective Friday.
— Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das said now families preparing for a wedding can withdraw up to Rs 2.50 lakh from bank account giving PAN details and self-declaration.
— Farmers can withdraw Rs 25,000 per week from accounts where farmers get either by cheque or which is credited by RTGS accounts. Also, The time limit for paying crop insurance premium has been extended by 15 days.
— APMC-registered traders will be allowed to withdraw up to Rs 50,000 per week to meet their cash requirements. All businesses are already allowed to withdraw a similar amount.
2) Joint rally by Mamata Banerjee and Arvind Kejriwal
Chief Ministers Mamata Banerjee and Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday tore into PM Modi over demonetisation with the AAP chief asking the government to roll back it in three days while the TMC supremo said such a crisis was not seen even during Emergency.
Addressing a rally at Azadpur fruit wholesale market in New Delhi, Kejriwal alleged that demonetisation was the "biggest scam" in independent India while Banerjee said Modi should not run the country through "dictatorship", calling the protest a fight to save the country.
They even protested outside the Reserve Bank of India in Delhi wanting to know the availability of currency. The chief ministers also warned the government that it may face a revolt if it doesn't take back the decision.
3) RBI statement requesting public not to hoard currency
The Reserve Bank asked people not to hoard currency as there is sufficient supply of notes, even as banks struggled to manage the rush of people thronging branches across the country to exchange the scrapped notes.
"The Reserve Bank of India has once again clarified today that there is sufficient supply of notes consequent upon increased production which started nearly two months ago. Members of public are requested not to panic or hoard currency notes," the central bank said in a statement.
RBI also asked income tax assessees to pay their dues in advance for December quarter and has designated a total of 29 banks at which the payments can be done.
4) Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha adjourned
Demonetisation issue hit the proceedings of Parliament leaving both the houses adjourned over the uproar created by the Opposition.
5) Govt rejects demand for PM's reply on the issue
The government rejected the demand for PM Modi's response on the debate on demonetisation and accused the opposition of using it as an excuse to scuttle discussion on the issue in Parliament.
Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu told reporters after Parliament was adjourned for the day, amid protests by the Opposition demanding Modi's presence, that the reply to the debate would be given by the minister concerned or any other person on behalf of the government as per the rules of the House and precedents.