It is January 12, 2017, 66 days since Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. However, residents of the city are still struggling to find solutions to their money-related troubles.
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As hundreds queued up outside the RBI office in Sansad Marg Thursday to get their currency notes exchanged, they revealed their problems to The Indian Express.
The RBI had on December 31 announced that the facility for exchange of old bank notes will only be available for Indian residents and NRIs, who were abroad from November 9 to December 30, from January onwards.
Most people who were not allowed inside the RBI office on Thursday were angry and said they could not understand why they were not being allowed to change their notes.
Shankar Lal, 26, a labourer from Jodhpur, found Rs 4,800 from his brother’s cupboard on January 6, a month after he passed away. He reached the RBI office in Jaipur on January 11 to solve the problem. There, they were asked to visit an RBI office in ‘a metropolitan city’.
On Thursday, at the RBI office in New Delhi, he was told that he won’t be able to exchange the notes. “I even carried my brother’s death certificate as proof but the guards say we can’t exchange the money now. We spent so much to just come here…,” he said.
An NRI couple, who have been living in the United States for the past 20 years, found themselves in a peculiar situation. Dr Rakesh Gulati and his wife, both doctors, have Rs 25,000 each to exchange. The couple have an American passport so the guards stopped them saying that they are “foreign nationals”.
Dr Gulati said, “I was in India during Diwali. My children gave us the money so that we don’t have to waste time at the currency exchange kiosk on our next visit. I don’t understand why am I not being allowed to exchange that. The government should at least have kept a help desk for grievances redressal,” he said.