The dean of diplomatic corps on Wednesday asked India to relax restrictions on withdrawal of money from banks and hoped Prime Minister Narendra Modi will intervene as a number of foreign missions were facing funds crunch since the demonetisation of Rs 500 and 1,000 notes. Frank Hans Dannenberg Castellanos, ambassador of the Dominican Republic, said the foreign missions should have access to their funds for day-to-day operations and that the Rs 50,000 weekly cap on withdrawals was inadequate and must be lifted.
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He said some big countries may think of “reciprocating” in the same way with Indian diplomats posted abroad if they continued to face the problem. Castellanos said the amount was not enough citing the Vienna Convention. “We can’t be restricted in accessing our funds. We have been very patient but we need to have solutions.” Expressing concerns in a letter to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, he wrote, “We as ambassadors are responsible for our nationals visiting India.”
He added that he had sent a letter two days after the announcement of demonetisation to the chief of protocol expressing concern. On Tuesday, Russian Ambassador Alexander Kadakin had written to the Ministry of External Affairs, saying that his embassy’s normal functioning was getting impacted with the “inadequate” amount limit.