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MEA puts forward diplomats' demonetisation concerns before Finance Ministry

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 17 November 2016, 20:34 IST

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) asked the Finance Ministry on 17 November to address some of the concerns raised by the diplomatic corps following the ban on currency of higher denomination.

Vikas Swarup, spokesperson, MEA told reporters, "We have received three or four types of different requests on the issue of demonetisation which pertain to the Ministry of External Affairs."

Here are the problems, the MEA has asked the Minisry of Finance to address:

1. Diplomats who are based in Delhi require higher level of funds as the existing limit was not sufficient for diplomatic missions. Diplomats collect consular and visa fees. If they are collected in old notes how will they be deposited and how will they be exchanged?

2. The second set of issues are NRIs having Indian currency abroad. NRIs have specified limits as to the amount of Indian currency that can be taken abroad. But within those limits, if somebody has money abroad, and is not travelling to India immediately, what happens? How does he get new notes for those old notes?

3. The third set of issues is by the money changes associations abroad. The money changers association abroad is ready to dispense Indian rupees. But, they have asked what they would do with the stacks of old currencies they have. How do they convert those?

4. And, finally the cases of foreign visitors, tourists particularly those coming for medical tourism asking that they have specific requirements for which they need to have certain higher thresholds.

In order to address the issues, Vikas Swarup said, "We have referred all these matters to Department of Economic Affairs. 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," he added.

First published: 17 November 2016, 20:34 IST