Sunday, January 20, 2019

Central bank bans big Indian currency notes ban

The central bank today issued a circular banning the big denomination Indian Currency (IC) notes after the Indian central bank did not respond to its repeated request to take the old IC notes. The central bank had written to the Indian central bank – Reserve Bank of India (RBI) – requesting to allow using the high denomination Indian notes in Nepal.
The government had – on December 13 – banned the big denomination IC, and following the government decision the Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) issued the circular prohibiting Nepali travellers, banks and financial institutions from holding or carrying and trading Indian bank notes higher than Rs 100 IC. "Indian denominations of 200, 500 and 2,000 cannot be carried and used for trading," the circular reads.
Under the new regulation, Nepali citizens cannot carry these denominations to countries other than India. Similarly, Nepalis are also not allowed to bring such big denomination IC notes from other countries. "Indian notes of Rs 100 or below, however, are allowed for trading and conversion," the circular further reads.
The Cabinet had on December 13 decided to publish the notification in the Nepal Gazette not to allow people to carry IC notes above 100 denominations in Nepal, though the travel traders and other business entrepreneurs have criticised the decision. It will also hit the Visit Nepal campaign – with an objective to draw at least 2 million tourists in 2020 – as the Indian travelers will face difficulty due to the currency issue.
Since a majority of Indians come to Nepal over land from bordering towns, it’s difficult for them to convert their currency to dollar. The overland Indian visitors’ survey showed that 1.2 million Indians came to Nepal through the surface route while 160,132 travelled via air. The average length of stay of Indian tourists coming overland stands at 5.8 days. Likewise, they also spend Rs11,310 per person on an average.
The Indian government, however, in a surprise move on November 8, 2016, pulled Rs 500 IC and Rs 1,000 IC out of circulation 'to unearth unaccounted wealth and fight corruption”. Since then, the Nepal Rastra Bank have also banned those notes in Nepal.
Earlier, the central bank had allowed Nepalis to carry Indian banknotes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denominations based on the Indian government’s decision.
The Reserve Bank of India, in February 2015, introduced the Foreign Exchange Management (export and import of currency) Regulations, allowing Nepali and Bhutanese citizens to 'carry Reserve Bank of India currency notes of denomination Rs 500 IC and Rs 1,000 IC up to a limit of Rs 25,000 IC. Following the India's Modi-government’s move of 2016, billions of Indian currency notes of 500 and 1000 are still stuck in Nepal.

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