Demonetisation: Indian Embassy issues advisory for travellers

This post was originally published on 29 November 2016 and the content may be outdated.

Travellers to India are advised to carry international credit and debit cards given the prevailing currency crunch in India, Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi said on Monday.

“Embassy of India, Abu Dhabi advises all travellers to India to carry with them valid and sufficiently funded international credit/debit cards,” a statement from Indian Embassy said.

Speaking to Gulf News, Neeta Bhushan, charge d’affaires at the embassy, said it might be inconvenient for travellers to exchange foreign currency at airports in the present circumstances; hence, the advisory was issued.

Asked whether it is applicable to Indian expatriates travelling to India, she said they should also be prepared to avoid any inconvenience, but there would be relatives or friends to help them out. The foreigners may not have such a support system, therefore the embassy wanted to advise them, Bhushan said.

On November 17, the UAE Ambassador to New Delhi advised travellers to India to carry credit cards, which can be used in hotels, restaurants and hospital, due to the current shortage of rupee supply.

“If it is necessary to carry a cash amount, it has to be in US dollar or Euro. It is also necessary to make sure that the Rs500 and Rs1,000 notes are the ones that are now in circulation,”

Ambassador Ahmad Abdul Rahman Al Banna had said in a statement on November 17.

Travellers to India can carry up to Rs 25,000 in Indian currency and any amount in foreign currency. The only condition is that foreign currency higher than USD 5000 should be declared. However, with the current cash crunch, it is difficult to exchange a large amount of foreign currency from India.

The deadline for exchange of demonetised currency at banks have ended on 24th November, which means those notes can only be deposited to a bank account, that too until 30 December.
RBI offices in India will exchange demonetised notes even after 30 December, provided there is a valid reason for delay and documents to prove the reason.

Unfortunately, the government hasn’t yet worked out a satisfactory alternative for NRIs who do not have any travel plans in near future.

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