Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced that the 500 ($7.60) and 1,000 rupee banknotes will be withdrawn from the financial system overnight.
The surprise move, announced on Tuesday evening, is part of a crackdown on corruption and illegal cash holdings.
Banks will be closed on Wednesday and ATM machines will not be working.
India is overwhelmingly a cash economy. New 500 and 2,000 rupee denomination notes will be issued to replace those removed from circulation.
“Black money and corruption are the biggest obstacles in eradicating poverty,” Mr Modi said.
People will be able to exchange their old notes for new ones at banks over the next 50 days but they will no longer be legal tender.
The announcement prompted people across the country to rush to ATMs that offer 100 rupee notes in an attempt not to be left without cash over the next few days.
wow time to run and exchange
The 500 and 1,000 rupee notes are the highest denomination notes in the country and are extremely common in India. Airports, railway stations and hospitals will only accept them until 11 November.
People will be able to exchange their money at banks between 10 November and 30 December.
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