The External Affairs Ministry was “consulting” on the suggestions made by Dean of Diplomatic Corps on easing of difficulties faced by some foreign missions due to demonetisation, ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said on Thursday. Referring to the meeting between Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar and Dean Frank Hans Dannenberg Castellanos last week, Swarup said Jaishankar subsequently wrote to the Dean in which he conveyed that the Dean had given some practical suggestions on how temporary difficulties faced by some missions could be eased. “The Foreign Secretary said we are consulting on this matter and we will revert in due course,” the spokesperson told reporters.
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Dominican Ambassador to India Castellanos, who as Dean represents the voice of 157 foreign missions, had asked for raising the limit of weekly cash withdrawal from the existing Rs 50,000 for embassies among other suggestions. The Dean had also hoped solutions would be jointly found not only to the problems being encountered in the day-to-day operations of the diplomatic missions but also the difficulties being faced by foreign nationals visiting India as tourists or for medical treatment.
Apart from the Dean, the Russian embassy here and several other missions had voiced their serious concern to the government over the restrictions on cash withdrawal and threatened to take retaliatory action against Indian diplomats posted in their countries. Russian Ambassador Alexander Kadakin had gone public with protest.
Asked about Nepal and Bhutan, two major recipients of developmental aid from India, raising the demonetisation issue and its impact on financial aid assistance to them, Swarup said they are in touch with Indian government through proper mechanism and no problem can be foreseen in resolving the issue.