Prime minister Narendra Modi is likely to address the nation on New Year's eve, according to media reports. The address is expected at 7:30 in the evening.
Though it is not immediately known what the speech will be about, speculation is rife that it will be a stock taking of the demonetisation announced on 8 November.
The prime minister had announced the government's surprise decision to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes in a stated aim to curb fake currency, black money generation and terror funding.
The decision has deeply impacted the economy and normal lives of millions as it resulted in a severe cash crunch, which still continues.
As the impact of the decision to replace about 86 percent of the currency in circulation unfolded on various sectors of the economy, the prime minister in a speech sought 50-day time period to deal with the situation. The deadline ends on 30 December.
The lack of preparation of the RBI and the government to deal with the evolving situation was evident as the printing of replacement currencies was slow and failed to keep pace with the rising demand for cash. Also, even as the requirement was of more smaller denomination notes, the government released Rs 2,000 notes which did little to ease the cash crunch situation.
Frequent changes in rules regarding the withdrawal of cash and deposit of banned old notes added to the confusion of the public.
Ever since the pains were heightened, there has been wide speculation that the prime minister will announce some sops for the rural and urban poor who have been hit badly as jobs dried up due to the sudden economic slowdown.
Updated Date: Dec 29, 2016 22:22:21 IST