<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The demonetization of high value Rs500 and Rs1,000 notes have not only hit the factories rolling out fake Indian currency notes in foreign countries, but other neighbours Bhutan, Nepal, diplomatic missions in India as well as the Non-Resident Indians (NRIs). After receiving several requests, the government here on Thursday set up an inter-ministerial committee under the additional secretary finance including a joint secretary from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA)to find solution to issues confronting neighbouring friendly countries as well as visa sections of diplomatic missions.Official spokesman of MEA Vikas Swarup confirmed they have received four types of requests including those from diplomatic missions. “Some have wanted to know if they could collect consular and visa fees in old notes. If so collected, they have sought to know how will those be exchanged,” he said. Hans Dannenberg Castellanos, Ambassador of the Dominican Republic, who also holds the rotating post of the dean of Diplomatic Corps in the country held a meeting with the MEA officials saying diplomatic missions as well as tourists, students, medical tourists, delegates and diplomats are experiencing problems following demonetization.Swarup said the NRIs having legal Indian currency abroad and are travelling to India immediately, have also sought solutions to the issue. “The third set of issues is by the money changer associations abroad. This is quite interesting because we don’t have full convertibility…So, they have asked us the same question that what they would do with the stacks they have. How do they convert those?,” the spokesperson said. The issues have been referred to an inter-ministerial committee. “We wait their guidance, their advice and their recommendation which can then be shared with those various categories who have approached us,” Swarup said.Dean of Diplomatic Corps in India said all diplomatic missions were supporting the government move to fight corruption. But want solution to the crisis faced by diplomats and missions. He sought measures like setting up separate counters for embassies at the banks and a dedicated desk at MEA to address troubles faced by them.Within hours of announcement of demonetization, the diplomatic missions had sent detailed advisories to their citizens about currency restrictions in India and what their citizens can do on arrival. The UK embassy, which has been regularly updating its advisory, says citizens should be prepared for long queues at banks and the ATM.Also two eastern friendly neighbours Nepal and Bhutan are also experiencing problems, as they are only countries that allow Indian travellers to carry up to Rs25,000 in paper currency. Bhutan’s Central Bank has even deputed its officials at the Indo-Bhutan border to ensure that there was no shortage in cash for exchange over the counter. After discussions between Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) and the RBI, Nepal government banned all financial transactions in Indian rupees. This has come a boon for Indian security agencies, who believe that Kathmandu was the main hub, for funnelling fake currency into the Indian market.

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Govt offers helping hand to diplomats, tourists and NRIs