Indians living abroad or travelling abroad carry Indian currencies to meet their petit expenses, like airport taxis on return, pay for samosas and Idli’s priced at Rs.300 in airports and sometimes to pay for the excess baggage. When I first heard of the demonetization of 1000’s and 500’s on news channel, I sprinted and counted my currency that amounted to Rs.1500 in my wallet and my wife and mother in law came up with another Rs.6000. Luckily we have SBI and Bank of Baroda in this part of the world and counting on my belief that SBI is “a Banker to every Indian”, I approached SBI but to my surprise, a note at the entrance that said “we have not received any notification from the RBI so far.” I could only understand from the notice that there are many victims like me. Still I believed that bankers would take some action so as to help the so called NRI’s … In the meantime there was one big solace from the Facebook update of the Indian Ambassador that he had requested his Ministry to take the matter forward to the Economic affairs. I still believe that from subsequent updates, the government is working on this issue and will do the needful. My hard earned rupee like several others is still lying with me as invalid.
My apprehension is not about the money or the decision taken but about the foresight of the government in dealing such matters. Why did the government fail and where did they fail? Every decision should be supported with cause and effect analysis and I do not understand why the NRI’s were left unconsidered in this exercise.
There are more than half a million Indians living here and several millions in the Gulf region. I am sure the same holds true for NRIs in the rest of the world. The calculation runs in to several crores of rupees and will such hard earned money be deemed as valueless paper.
Aren’t we worth the same value as our remittances?