Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced that the 500 ($7.60) and 1,000 rupee banknotes will be withdrawn from the financial system overnight, BBC reports.

 

The surprise move is part of a crackdown on corruption and illegal cash holdings, he said in a TV address. 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. 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.

 

Photo: AFP

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