Government’s new ordinance of imposing Rs 10,000 fine for possessing old defunct notes beyond a certain number after 31st March, 2017 seems a bit exaggerated. Old notes are no longer in circulation and their value automatically becomes zero ending this financial year when they would no longer be legal to be even deposited at RBI which means they would turn paper good for ‘Raddhi’ (scrap value).
Elderly persons have a tendency to forget and they may have kept their hard earned savings in old defunct notes somewhere which they have not traced at the moment. The value turning zero of such notes is itself a harsh punishment (on something he may have even paid taxes) but a fine sounds illogical. Corruption rules roost in our country and it is the loopholes in our laws that need to be plugged to punish the guilty at the time of crime (corruption) and not laws that have no meaning as well as silly. Old 500/1000 notes are history now and the government should use their energy and resources to go after people who evade taxes and indulge in corruption than bother about old notes in people’s possession which has already become defunct and valueless. Let the people keep old notes as mementos if they want and why bother if it has no burden on the government as the center’s responsibility of compensation ends after the deadline!
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)