Mumbai: The Shiv Sena on Wednesday claimed credit for the central government granting permission to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to accept the demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes.
"This was Sena President Uddhav Thackeray's demand a few days ago and later our minister Diwakar Raote also raised it," said a party official.
Nearly eight months after demonetisation, just before midnight on Tuesday, the Centre issued orders to the RBI to accept the old scrapped Rs 500-Rs 1,000 currency notes lying with all the District Central Cooperative Banks (DCCBs).
Significantly, the development took place barely three hours after the Shiv Sena on Tuesday evening announced its support to presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind and its intention to vote with the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) for first time in 15 years.
As per the new orders, the DCCBs can deposit the demonetised notes collected during the five-day period post-demonetisation of November 8, 2016, with the RBI within the next 30 days.
The DCCBs had been barred from accepting the old notes from November 14 last year and according to Raote, around Rs 2,271 crore is lying with the cooperative banks in Maharashtra alone.
The government has also permitted the banks and post offices, which had collected the old notes prior to December 30, 2016, to deposit these with the RBI, under the Specified Bank Notes (Deposits by Banks, Post Offices and DCCBs) Rules, 2017.
The Sena official pointed out that after the DCCBs were barred from depositing the old notes, it became impossible for Maharashtra's 31 district cooperative banks with some 3,750 branches to provide fresh agricultural loans and facilitate other rural activities, and simultaneously, they had to pay interest to depositors.
Of these banks, the Pune District Cooperative Bank was the worst-hit holding in old notes Rs 811 crore, followed by Satara DCB at Rs 399 crore, Nashik DCB Rs 376 crore, Chandrapur DCB with Rs 356 crore and several others with more than Rs 100 crore-plus, said the official.