Money exchanges in Gulf now selling Indian notes at a discount

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Exchange houses in some Gulf countries are selling Indian rupees at cheaper prices in a bid to clear up the stocks of Rs500 and Rs1000 notes.

Some currency exchange houses in Qatar have reportedly started offering much higher exchange rates for Qatari riyals to dispense with the scrapped Indian currencies with them,  a report on Qatar Tribune says.

Uncertain about the fate of scrapped Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes, one of the exchange houses allegedly offered Rs 32 and Rs 24 for QR 1 on Monday and Tuesday respectively.

The normal exchange rate on these days were only Rs18.55 and 18.50.

The particular exchange house got rid of Rs6 million on Monday, the report added citing sources.

Millions of rupees stuck in exchange houses

According to Times of Oman, exchange houses in Oman are stuck with a combined 15 million rupees of scrapped Indian currency.

They are now luring Indian expats to take the discontinued currency notes by offering them at lower rates.

Before demonetisation, the same exchange houses were selling rupees at 175 rupees for every Omani rial, which is now available at 225 rupees per rial.

“We have Indian currencies worth Rs3 million stuck in Oman,” Rajan B, general manager at Al Jadeed Exchange, said.

Two exchange houses reportedly have at least Rs4 million of scrapped notes.

“Bare minimum, we will have Rs4 million with us. What can be done is a question. However, waiting for further instructions,” the head of a money exchange house said.

NRIs waiting for update on the issue

According to Muscat Daily, State Bank of India – Muscat, said that it could take up to a month to have clarity on the issue.

Meanwhile, H E Indra Mani Pandey, India’s Ambassador to Oman, in his follow-up message to the Indian community said that he was happy to share that [‘India’s] Ministry of External Affairs is looking into the matter.

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“The ministry has taken up the issue of procedure for exchange of demonetised notes by NRIs with the Department of Economics Affairs and will let us have their response,” he said.

Indians have until December 31 to deposit the notes in accounts in India, prompting some to take advantage of the deal.


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- Published on 16 November 2016 - By Neha Joshi / NRICafe.com

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