The government today curtailed the use of old 500 rupee notes for purchasing tickets of railway, metro and state road transport buses till December 10, as against December 15 announced previously.
The Finance Ministry issued a notification withdrawing facility of using the now-defunct notes at suburban and metro rail services, railway ticketing counters and ticket counters of government or PSU buses from December 10.
The same would also not be valid for making payments to catering services on board, during travel by train.
The government had on November 8 while withdrawing legal tender of 500 and 1,000 rupee notes allowed them to be used for utility bill payments for first 72 hours. This deadline was extended repeatedly and the last extension was granted till December 15.
In between, the government withdrew use of 1,000 rupee notes for utility bill payments and discontinued use of even 500 denomination notes for services like purchase of petrol and diesel at petrol pumps as well as for buying air ticket at airport counters.
The old 500 rupee notes will, however, continue to be used for making payments of utility bills like electricity and water as well as buying cooking gas and mobile recharge.
Since the November 8 demonetisation announcement, the government has been trying to promote digital transactions and today announced a package to incentivise cashless payments.
Now petrol, railway tickets and insurance policies of PSU companies will cost less if bought through debit/credit cards or other digital modes. The government also waived service tax for payments up to Rs. 2,000 made through cards and decided to do away with transaction fee for payment to the central government departments and PSUs.