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People can exchange the banned notes through the end of the year for smaller denominations or new bills are being created. Because more affluent Indians are allowed to exchange only 250,000 rupees, or about $3,700, without that they paid taxes, some are handing wads of cash to poor people, paying them a fee to hold the money in their accounts and return it later. Others are thronging jewelry stores and designer boutiques, carrying suitcases of banned currency notes, begging to buy something with backdated receipts.

“People felt, rather than turn my money into toilet paper, let me have a beautiful outfit,” Tina Tahiliani Parikh, the executive director of the Ensemble group of high-end Indian fashion stores, said in an interview.

Some have thrown in the towel, rather than risking an investigation into their taxes, filling pillowcases and paper bags with the old currency and dumping them in the trash. Notes of 1,000 rupees, the equivalent of about $15, have been spotted down the Ganges River.