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Banks across the country will remain open on Saturday and Sunday as the government gears up to implement demonetisation of high-denomination currency notes from Thursday.
The government also expanded the list of exempted public utilities that would continue to accept old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes that have ceased to be legal tender from Wednesday.
Several banks have announced extended working hours on Thursday with dedicated counters for exchanging currency notes. The Reserve Bank of India has sent truckloads of new notes throughout the country, while some ATMs will begin dispensing cash.
Banks have been advised to keep all their branches open on November 12 and 13 as regular working days for transacting all business, RBI said in a statement.Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said citizens can utilise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes to purchase metro rail tickets; medicines from government and private pharmacies against prescription; to make payments at toll plazas on highways; pay for gas cylinders, railway catering and tickets for monuments protected by the Archaeological Survey of India. The withdrawn notes will be accepted till Friday midnight.
Banks and ATMs were shut on Wednesday to clear the stock of Rs 500/1,000 notes and replenish them with lower denomination and new Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 notes that have enhanced security features.Jaitley said it would take two-three weeks for adequate replacement of currency notes.
The government also plans to utilise its strong network of banking correspondents to dispense cash and exchange old currency notes in rural parts of the country.
Customers can withdraw Rs 2,000 per day using an ATM card and Rs 10,000 through a bank transaction on a single day with an upper limit of Rs 20,000 for one week. The withdrawal limitations would continue for some time, Jaitley said.

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