Government on Friday extended use of old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes for paying household utility bills, fuel, taxes and fees as well as purchases from co-operative stores by another 72 hours to November 14 as it struggles to make available alternative currency.
While withdrawing Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes from the night of November 8-9, the government had allowed use of the old currency at government hospitals, railway ticketing, public transport, airline ticketing at airports, milk booths, crematoria/burial grounds and petrol pumps for 72 hours.
This list was later expanded to include payments for metro rail tickets, highway and road toll, purchase of medicines on doctor prescription from the government and private pharmacies, LPG gas cylinders, railway catering, electricity and water bills and ASI monument entry tickets.
The time limit set was to expire mid-night tonight, but it has now been extended by another 72 hours, top government officials said.
The government has allowed use of the old currency to make payments at co-operative stores subject to valid identity proofs being provided.
Public utility bills include only household bills. Court fee will also be allowed to be paid in old 500 and 1,000 rupee notes.
Old Rs 500, Rs 1000 notes will be accepted for payment of fees, charges, taxes, penalty to central and state governments, including municipalities and local bodies.
Such old notes will also be accepted for payment of utility charges like water and electricity.
The official said while the old notes were allowed to be accepted for highway toll payment, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has freed national highways of any toll charges till November 14.
In his first televised address to the nation two-and-a-half-years after assuming office, he announced a 50-day window from November 10 to December 30 for those having these notes to deposit them in their bank and post office accounts "without any limit".
As many as 16.5 billion notes of Rs 500 denomination are in circulation currently while 6.7 billion Rs 1,000 notes are in market.