Indian NRI labour lost money due to demonetization. Allow them exchange genuine old notes.

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There are thousands of NRIs working in the middle east as construction workers, cleaners, house boys etc. These people spend a lot of money as agency fee and work in very challenging conditions. Their passports are kept in the custody of their employers and they are allowed a passage to India only once every two years. These people keep a small amount of Indian currency as permitted by Indian law as contingency and for their return expenses. Typically this is about 5000 -10000 rupees. In spite of many representations, the demonetization process did not provide them any opportunity to exchange their old currency. The local embassies or the local branches of the Indian banks could have been directed by the authorities to do this. Or the individuals could have been asked to courier the money to their NRO bank account in India for the exchange. Neither of this happened. The ostensible reason given by the government was that any such provision would be misused to launder black money.

Now that the exercise has ended and only 16000 crores of old notes still at large, and since the government has clarified that the exercise was not meant to invalidate the old currency but to only force the hidden currency to return to the proper accounted channels, the government  please allow the Indians working abroad to  exchange their old currency through a suitable mechanism, up to a limit of Rs.10000 per individual.

 



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