No fresh window for note exchange: Government

NEW DELHI: The Modi government on Monday formally told the Supreme Court that no fresh window of exchange can be given to those still in possession of old demonetised notes, irrespective of the reason why they could not avail of the first opportunity to exchange them for new.

In a fresh affidavit submitted to court, the finance ministry said that the very objective of demonetisation and the elimination of black money would be defeated if a new window of exchange is opened for a further period. ET was first to report on July 6 that the government will not provide another window for exchange of demonetised currency.

“… persons in possession of SBNs (specified old notes) would have had sufficient time and opportunity to carefully plan the reasons and excuses for not depositing SBNs within the permitted period that is before December 30, 2016,” the government argued. Any number of benami transactions and user proxies for the purpose of producing and depositing SBNs would then arise and government departments “would have great difficulty in deciding any genuine case from the numerous bogus ones,” the new affidavit said.

The government said that it had come across a huge amount of malpractices in the post-demonetisation period.

“… going by the extent and enormity of the malpractices observed during post-demonetisation period, it is apparent that in case a fresh opportunity is offered for exchange of SBNs, it would lead to rampant illegal trading of these SBNs (that is, the SBNs being traded at discounts) thereby defeating the very purpose of demonetisation.”

“After extensive deliberations… it was decided that any relaxation from what has been already allowed regarding deposit of specified bank notes based on notifications issued as a result of the Ordinance is not warranted in view of the extensive misuse of the provisions…”

“… the Central government took a conscious decision that no necessity or any justifiable reason exists either…

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