India scraps high currency notes to fight corruption

India's prime minister has announced the scrapping of high denomination 500 and 1,000 rupee currency notes in what he describes as a major step in the battle against undeclared earnings, corruption and fake currency.

Narendra Modi in a speech carried live on radio and television on Tuesday reassured citizens, saying people will be able to deposit these notes into their bank accounts until Dec. 30. Also, Modi said people would be exempted for some time when purchasing medicine and buying airline and rail tickets.

Modi said new 500 and 2,000 Indian rupees notes would be issued soon.

In an indirect reference to Pakistan, Modi accused the neighboring country of circulating fake Indian currency notes to damage its economy.