Demonetisation : Ministry of External Affairs getting distress calls from NRIs

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The external affairs ministry has its own share of demonetisation troubles.

NRIs, foreign missions in the Capital, and tourists visiting the country have been grappling with the fallout of the government’s decision to demonetise high-value notes of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500.

Some of the diplomatic missions have told the MEA that they require higher levels of funds in Indian cash and the existing limits will not be sufficient for them.

“Some of them have said that they collect consular and visa fees. If they are collected in old notes, how will they be deposited and how will they be exchanged,” said external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup.

Those NRIs abroad with cash and Indian currency have also approached their respective Indian missions.

There are specific limits on the amount of Indian currency that can be taken abroad. “But within those limits if somebody has money abroad, and is not travelling to India immediately, what happens? How does he get new notes for those old notes?” Swarup said.

The third issue was raised by the associations of money-changers abroad. “They have asked us the same question… what would they do with the stacks they have. How do they convert those?” asked Swarup.

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Foreign visitors, especially those coming for medical tourism, have requested higher thresholds.

“We have referred all these matters to the department of economic affairs, which has formed an inter-ministerial committee headed by an officer at the level of an additional secretary. A senior joint secretary from the MEA is also a member and we await their guidance, advice and recommendations, which can then be shared with those various categories that have approached us,” Swarup said.

- Published on 19 November 2016 - Source : Hindustan Times

8 Comments

  1. Not good for people who lives abroad like me I have about 40000 thousand rupee I don’t have any options to exchange in united state .nor I can go to india to exchange if calculate if I go to india to exchange it will cost me more then I exchange 40 thousand it same to gov of india by caching bad corrupt people pour good people suffering for nothing .

  2. K.V.Ramana Murty on

    There are 31 branches of RBI in India. But the deposit of old notes by NRIs and Indians coming back from abroad is limited to only 5 branches. What about the persons residing/visiting in other states? RBI should allow all its b ranches to accept such deposits. Otherwise it is expensive to visit the specific branches of RBi for this purpose and also time consuming. Wherever RBI has no branch, the Local lead bank should be authorized to accept these deposits. Further, the conditions also should be liberalized. The declaration at the customs is restricted only to the old notes on hand. What about the old notes kept at home before leaving for abroad before November 8th? This must be also be considered. Getting customs stamp at the airport means opening the gates for them for making money. Obtaining a statement that no deposits were made earlier in his bank account by the person is also difficult.. A declaration to that effect by the concerned person must be accepted.. Govt. /RBI should consider the genuine difficulties of the persons coming back from abroad and NRIs and liberalize the rules. K.V.Ramana Murty
    kvrm2002@yahoo.co.in

  3. Amrit Gadhia on

    During the visits abroad all Indian Officials promise things to NRIs and when they return they do not care! This includes Mr Modi as well creeping to NRIs to invest in India but does nothing to give priority to NRIs for the Pan Card, Aadhaar Card,exchange withdrawn currency and how to obtain a temporary local address in India for NRIs. Shame…when would they learn to respect foreign Investments which is very essential.
    Amrit Gadhia Uk

  4. it is against the promise given in OCI on par with NRIs in terms of economic, financial, property rights, but excluded in exchanging old demonetized notes, gross discrimination, their action will not stand legally. It is better they come out with solution before everybody (OCI/PIO) take legal action.

  5. Allow OCI to exchange the old currency at indian embassies/currency exchanges and indian banks abroad ( upto a specific limit maybe 25000 Rs per person) . Those with amount less than 25000 Rs will not want to travel all the way to India to deal with this as airfare would far exceed this amount. Also, many OCI have no bank account and do not want to open one because they travel very infrequently and do not want additional hassles.

    So please allow OCIs to deal with this currency at their country of residence abroad.

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