Pre-2005 notes valid for commercial transaction till March: RBI

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Reserve Bank today said all pre-2005 currency notes can be used for commercial transaction only till March 31 but could be exchanged at banks even after this deadline.

"All older series of banknotes issued prior to 2005 would be acceptable for all kinds of monetary transactions only till March 31, 2014," RBI said in a notification.

Thereafter, it said, the public will be required to approach bank branches for exchange of such currency on an ongoing basis.

The central bank further said pre-2005 notes will continue to be legal tender.

"From July 1, to exchange more than 10 pieces of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes, bank branches should obtain from non- customers, proof of their identity and residence," it said.

Last week RBI decided to completely withdraw from circulation all bank notes after March 31.

Earlier in the day, Reserve Bank Governor Raghuram Rajan said the withdrawal of pre-2005 notes is not intended to check black money but to prevent counterfeiting.

"It is not intended to get at black money, tax evasion, etc. I am not saying those are good things. This is technical action, in order to withdraw notes which have fewer security features than new notes," Rajan said.

It is an attempt to reduce the possibility of counterfeiting and give more reliable notes at the hands of the public, he said.

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