Oman consulate in India issues travel advisory
February 14, 2018 | 9:05 PM
by Times News Service
Image used for illustratve purpose. Photo: Reuters/File

Muscat: Omani nationals can no longer carry Indian currency with them while leaving India, the Omani Consulate in Mumbai has warned after a new rule was implemented by the South Asian country’s government.

In a statement, the Consulate General of the Sultanate in Mumbai said: “We wish to draw the attention of citizens to the Indian government’s decision to prevent carrying of Indian currency during departure from India, irrespective of the amount. The amount will be confiscated at the boarding gate.”

“It is possible to use the remaining amount by shopping at duty-free outlets at the airport or exchanging it,” the consulate added. Indian expatriates, however, are allowed to carry Rs25,000 or OMR150 while leaving India.

Earlier, the Indian Embassy in Muscat had also said that foreigners have to change their currency before boarding flights out of India.

Meanwhile, a Consulate official said any foreigner violating the rule could be penalised.

“It is not a new rule. It has been there for quite some time,” the official clarified, adding that the rule also applies to Omani businessmen with business interests in India.

It’s common practice among local Omanis to carry some amount of Indian currency with them while leaving the country, mainly for the convenience of not having to visit exchange houses for Indian currency when they return the next time.

“I didn’t know such a rule existed; I visit India very often,” an Omani national said.

According to embassy officials, in case these travellers have Indian currency in their possession before boarding the flight, Indian customs officials can act against them. “Even legal cases can be slapped against them. So, it is better to change it to US dollars or any other foreign currency before boarding the flight,” the official said.

For Indian expats, the Reserve Bank of India has been increasing the limit of Indian currency that can be carried overseas in a phased manner.

For instance, in 2009, it had increased the limit from Rs5,000 to Rs7,500 per person. Then in 2013, it further increased the limit to Rs10,000 per person, and now it is Rs25,000.

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