India grants demonetization exemption for prepaid credit

telecomasia.net

The Indian government has made a special exception to temporarily allow demonetized 500 rupee notes for the purchase of prepaid top ups in response to a sharp decline in purchases.

The government enacted legislation earlier this month to declare the use of 500 rupee and 1000 rupee banknotes invalid as part of a crackdown on counterfeiting and black market money.

New 500 rupee and 2000 rupee banknotes have been issued to exchange the old currency, but the policy led to a cash shortage in the country.

In response to lobbying from GSM industry body the Cellular Operators' Association of India (COAI), the government has added prepaid top-ups up to the list of essential services allowed to accept the old banknotes, the Economic Times reported.

Consumers will be able to pay for top-ups up to a maximum of 500 rupees using the old notes until December 15.

The mobile industry had been seeking for the exemption to apply to both prepaid and postpaid services, and for the old 1000 and 500 rupee notes, but the government has approved the exemption only for prepaid purchases and 500 rupee notes, the report adds.

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