Rs 2,000 note helped keepers of black money: Chidambaram

New Delhi: ┬áCalling the 2016 move of introducing the Rs 2,000 notes as “foolish”, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Monday alleged that the currency denomination only helped keepers of black money to hoard money with ease and now they were being “welcomed on a red carpet” to exchange their notes.

The former finance minister’s attack on the BJP government comes after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Friday made a surprise announcement of withdrawal of Rs 2,000 currency notes but gave the public time till September 30 to either deposit the Rs 2,000 notes in accounts or exchange them at banks.

It said it had asked banks to stop issuing Rs 2,000 notes with immediate effect.

“Ordinary people do not have Rs 2,000 notes. They shunned it soon after it was introduced in 2016. They were useless for daily retail exchange

“So, who kept the Rs 2,000 notes and used them? You know the answer

“The Rs 2,000 note only helped keepers of black money to hoard their money with ease. The keepers of Rs 2000 notes are being welcomed on a red carpet to exchange their notes!

“So much for the government’s declared objective of rooting out black money. The Rs 2.000 note was a foolish move in 2016. I am glad that the foolish move is being withdrawn at least 7 years later.”

His remarks came after the State Bank of India on May 20 issued a clarification regarding the exchange of Rs 2,000 currency notes.

In a circular, the SBI said that people will not be required need to fill out requisition forms if a person wishes to exchange their Rs 2,000 currency notes up to the limit of Rs 20,000 at a time.

On May 19, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had announced to withdraw the 2,000 bank notes from circulation and also said that it will continue as legal tender till September 30.

The RBI said that the 2,000 denomination banknote was introduced in November 2016 primarily to meet the currency requirement of the economy in an expeditious manner after the withdrawal of legal tender status of all 500 and 1000 banknotes in circulation at that time.