FNCCI meets prime minister to resolve Indian currency problem

Published On: November 14, 2016 06:56 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Nov 14: A delegation of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) on Monday met with Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal and urged the latter to take needful initiative for resolving the problem of exchange of demonetized Indian banknotes.

Issuing a statement, the FNCCI said it requested the Prime Minister to resolve the uncertainty over the fate of the demonetized 1,000 and 500 Indian rupee bills that people and traders living near Nepal-India border possess. 

 PM Dahal assured the delegation that that he would find a way out after holding discussion with the Ministry of Finance and Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) officials.  

Earlier on Friday, the NRB had dispatched a letter to the Indian central bank, Reserve Bank of India (RBI), seeking its help in swapping the demonetized Indian currency of 1,000 and 500 denominations in Nepal. Following the sudden decision of the Indian government to withdraw the banknotes from circulation for curbing black money, the NRB had issued a directive to money changers, and bank and financial institutions (BFIs), barring them from doing exchange transactions of those banknotes. While the NRB has taken initiative to return demonetized Indian currency, the fate of Indian banknotes in possession of general public is still uncertain.

The umbrella organization of the private sector has lamented the government's reluctance to deal with the problem with urgency. The apex body of Nepali private sector has said that the government has not taken the issue with urgency.

Though Minister for Finance Krishna Bahadur Mahara made a phone call to Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs of India, Arun Jaitley, on Monday, there was not any tangible result. 

"Finance Minister Mahara is serious about the issue. He requested his Indian counterpart for providing exchange facility to Nepalis in the same way that the Indians are getting,” Tribhuvan Paudel, the press advisor to the finance minister, told Republica. “The Indian finance minister has assured that they would see what can be done,” he added.

The NRB's attempt to find a solution to the problem through its channel went in vain as the RBI has forwarded NRB's letter to India's Ministry of Finance and Corporate Affairs, stating that cannot take the decision alone.

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