Jaitley asked to extend cut-off date to deposit banned notes

Washington: Describing the demonetisation move as a “bold decision”, a global body for people of Indian-origin has asked Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to extend by six months the cut-off date for depositing the banned notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denominations.

The Global Organisation of People of Indian-Origin (GOPIO) in a recent letter said it has been flooded by concerns from a large number of NRIs and PIO after the recent government’s decision to ban Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes.

“It is a bold decision by Prime Minister Modi and we fully support him,” said GOPIO president Niraj Baxi in his recent letter to Jaitley. He said that some NRIs and PIOs have left over cash from their previous visits to India, while others have used currency exchanges and banks to obtain the rupees abroad for use on their future trip to India.

Many NRIs and PIOs have kept these notes for a while so as to use them on their return to India in the future. Some have used less time consuming means of obtaining currencies from online money exchanges to take back to India, said a media statement issued by GOPIO.

“NRIs and PIOs should be allowed to exchange whatever amount they have as long as they show the proof of past conversion of foreign currency to Indian currency in the last 10 years,” said Thomas Abraham, chairman of GOPIO International.

In the letter, GOPIO requested the Indian Government to extend the cut-off date by six months, as many cannot return to India by the end of December, 2016; and offer PIO’s with business and other income in India be similar deals as for residents (deposit up to Rs 2,50,000).

It also urged Jaitley to assist the PIO’s living abroad by providing an avenue to cash or exchange the Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denomination notes held by them for travelling to India and increase the limit for exchange to Rs 25,000 when they arrive at the airports.

In his letter Baxi said as per Government’s recent announcement, NRI and PIO’s cannot deposit these notes in their foreign banks (as they are refusing to accept them); do not have bank accounts in India to deposit and even if they do they cannot travel to deposit the notes and cannot exchange the notes as foreign banks and exchange outlets are refusing to accept these notes.