The government today said that ineligible persons queuing up at Reserve Bank for exchange of scrapped currency notes are responsible for longer queues at designated central bank offices. The Reserve Bank during the grace period has allowed Indian citizens residing in India who were abroad during November-December 2016 to exchange scrapped notes of Rs 500/1000 up to March 31, 2017 and Indian citizens residents outside up to June 30. The notes can be exchanged at RBI offices in Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and Nagpur.
“Several people who are ineligible queueing up at RBI counters making the queue longer,” Minister of State for Finance Arjun Ram Meghwal said in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha. He was answering to a question whether the government has noted the long lines and delays and harassment to the people outside various offices of the RBI. The Minister said that RBI has posted detailed instruction on its website clearly showing the eligibility conditions and other necessary documents required to be tendered for exchange of old currency notes.
“As each application has to be checked at the counters for his/her absence from the country from passport stamp marks, it is taking considerable time for the counter staff. It is compounded by the incomplete documentation etc. “Long queues are formed at Mumbai and Delhi only as large number of persons from the neighbouring states are turning up here. Several staff members have been engaged to attend to the large number of people turning up at the counters,” Meghwal said.
After scrapping the old 500 and 1000 rupee currency notes on November 8, the government had permitted people to deposit them in banks up to December 30, 2016. Meghwal said while there is no monetary limit for exchange of currency notes for residents who were abroad during the demonetisation period, there is limit for NRIs as per the FEMA regulations. NRIs coming to India are required to come through ‘Red Channel’ disclosing to the Customs authorities at the airport the amount of now-defunct notes and obtain a certificate to be tendered to the RBI at the time of exchange.