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Demonetization of Indian Rupee- Remarks by MEA Spokesperson on November 17, 2016
Embassy of India


Demonetization of Indian Rupee- Remarks by MEA Spokesperson on November 17, 2016

The Government of India has formed an inter-ministerial committee to look into concerns expressed by NRIs, tourists from abroad and foreign missions over demonetization, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on November 17, 2016

While foreign missions had sought MEA's intervention to facilitate smooth collection of consular and visa fee and to allow them access to more funds, NRIs, money exchange associations, and foreign tourists abroad too have expressed concern about the difficulties being faced by them.

"The department of economic affairs has now formed an inter-ministerial committee headed at the level of an additional secretary. A senior joint secretary from the ministry of external affairs is also a member of that committee and we await their guidance, their advice and their recommendation which can then be shared with those various categories who have approached us," said MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup.

Some (foreign missions here) have wanted to know if they could collect consular and visa fees in old notes. If so collected, they have sought to know how will those be exchanged," said Swarup.

The second set of issues, he said, was related to NRIs having cash, or those holding Indian currency abroad. "If somebody has money abroad, and is not travelling to India immediately, what happens? How does he get new notes for those old notes?

"The third set of issues is by the money changer associations abroad. This is quite interesting because we don't have full convertibility...So, they have asked us the same question that what they would do with the stacks they have. How do they convert those?," the spokesperson added.

According to the ministry, foreign visitors and tourists, particularly those coming for medical tourism, had asked MEA about some very specific requirements which needed to be looked into.