Nepal and Bhutan, two major recipients of developmental aid from India, have taken up with New Delhi the issue of demonetisation of high-value currency bills and the impact it could have on financial assistance to them, External Affairs Ministry said on Thursday. Both the Nepal Rashtra Bank and the Royal Monetary Authority of Bhutan are in touch with the RBI regarding facilitation of collection and deposit of old notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 that are already in stock of the Central Banks, other banks and financial institutions, besides general public in in the two countries, under existing provisions, MEA Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.
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“The matter has been raised by both the Governments of Nepal and Bhutan as well. The government is considering the matter and the RBI will remain in touch with their counterparts in Nepal and Bhutan,” he said.
As per this year’s budget, India has earmarked Rs 5490 crore for Bhutan and Rs 300 crore for Nepal. He said the inter-ministerial task force formed by the government was also looking at issues relating to foreign nationals and tourists in India, NRIs and PIOs holding old series high denomination notes, and the diplomatic missions based in India which have been been impacted by demonetisation.
“Consultations are ongoing and as soon as we have concrete recommendations from the task force we will share with all stakeholders,” Swarup added.
Last week, Swarup had said the MEA has approached Department of Economic Affairs after it received three or four types of requests including those related to maintaining sufficient flow of funds to diplomatic missions following the demonetisation.
The matter was raised by the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps during his meeting with the MEA officials. Swarup said all queries have been referred to the DEA, which has formed an inter-ministerial committee headed by an Additional Secretary. “A senior Joint Secretary from the MEA 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,” Swarup said.