No road toll, banks open on the weekend
The government on Wednesday suspended road toll across the country for two days and asked banks to work this weekend as millions of people grappled to adjust to a life without the Rs500 and Rs1,000 banknote.
The Reserve Bank of India said ATMs will start dispensing Rs50 and Rs100 notes from Thursday. Banks have also been asked not to charge any fee for ATM transactions till December 30.
“There will be logistic issues in returning change for Rs500 and Rs1,000 notes. Therefore, we have decided to suspend toll collection,” Union highways minister Nitin Gadkari said.
With about 86% of the total currency going out of circulation, the government sought to assuage the people, saying banks and post offices will give out replacement currencies from Thursday.
But panic-stricken people rushed to railway stations and petrol pumps to use up the Rs500 and Rs1,000 notes, spending more than Rs1 lakh for train tickets.
Railway minister Suresh Prabhu said people were lining up with Rs1,000 notes to purchase platform tickets of Rs10 each.