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Demonetization still hurting formerly cash-happy Indians

The Indian government hopes its recent demonetization of high-value banknotes will encourage the vast nation's unbanked majority to consider opening accounts. (Photo by Kiran Sharma)

NEW DELHI -- More than a fortnight after the Indian government demonetized 500- and 1,000-rupee notes, which accounted for 86% of cash in circulation, people in Asia's third largest economy continue to struggle with severe money shortages.

The government has been severely rebuked by the opposition for the sudden move, and for failing to ensure sufficient replacement currency is available for timely circulation. On Thursday, the cutoff date for 500-rupee notes was extended until Dec. 15 for payment of utility bills, mobile phone top-ups, and some other essentials.

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