Muscat: Indra Mani Pandey, the Indian ambassador to Oman has asked NRIs not to panic over the currency ban.
Read also: Exchange houses in Oman stuck with 15 million Indian rupees
Speaking to Times of Oman, the ambassador said: “I request the NRIs in Oman not to panic or engage in exchange of their demonetised currency of INR500 and INR1,000 denominations through illegal ways and means. The government is seized of the matter and it will issue advisory applicable for NRIs soon,” the Indian ambassador said.
“The Indian government has taken a bold step to fight black money. I request NRIs to cooperate with that,” the Indian ambassador added.
Madhusoodanan R, General Manager at State Bank of Travancore, which runs Global Money Exchange in Oman, also said that people should not fall prey to illegal ways to convert the demonetised notes. “The whole idea of demonetising INR500 and INR1,000 is to eradicate black money. So, people should cooperate. No need to panic. Domestically, the conditions will better soon and after that government will come up with a solution for NRIs,” the general manager said.
“I am hopeful that the government will come out with a solution for NRIs soon,” the general manager added.
Meanwhile, some of the exchange houses are offering lucrative selling rates for demonetised Indian currencies.
For OMR1, where the exchange rate was INR175, some of the houses are offering INR200 and above. “NRIs are allowed to carry up to INR25,000 to India as per Reserve Bank of India rule. Deposit to bank before December 31. We sell currency at INR200,” a message from a money exchange house in Oman read.
A circular from RBI on August 04, 2016, states that a resident of India, who has gone out of India on a temporary visit may bring into India at the time of his return from any place outside India (other than Nepal and Bhutan), currency notes of government of India and Reserve Bank of India notes up to an amount not exceeding INR25,000.
A general manager at another exchange said that they are also offering the same for customers.
“Nowadays, we are offering anything in between IMR200 to INR225 if someone wants to exchange their money,” the manager said. Joby Joseph, an NRI living in Oman for the last 15 years, said: “The decision which government has taken is a wise and bold one; however it was announced without doing adequate preparations or homework. Maybe such a massive program should have been done with more research and homework from the Reserve bank of India (RBI) and government.”
Meanwhile, India’s government has increased the limit on cash withdrawals from bank accounts on Sunday to calm public anger as millions of people clamoured for new rupee bills.
Large crowds were again gathered at banks across the country trying to change 500 and 1,000 rupee bills.
The banned rupee notes made up more than 80 percent of the currency in circulation, leaving millions without cash and threatening to bring much of the cash-driven economy to a halt.
The Indian government is expected to clarify in the coming days how non-resident Indians can legally change the notes.