With Prime Minister Narendra Modi having announced that Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes are no more legal tender, people are currently queueing up in front of banks in serpentine lines to get them exchanged — something they can legally till December 30. However, there seems to be some questions on what non-resident Indians (NRIs) who have such currency notes should do.
Indians themselves have been in a bind since Modi's announcement, and had been waiting eagerly for banks to open on Thursday so that they could get their currency notes exchanged. The banks themselves will remain open on the coming weekend, with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) having ordered them to also work for longer hours and give priority to currency note exchanging.
What should NRIs do?
Outlook Asia Capital CEO Manoj Nagpal told Khaleej Times people in the United Arab Emirates can put their money in non-resident ordinary (NRO) accounts. He also suggested that those who do not have them, open them with their local banks.
"If you have an NRO bank account, you can visit the branch of the said bank in Dubai, or anywhere in the world, and deposit the same in the NRO account. There has been clarity on this from the Reserve Bank of India, and Indian banks with representative offices abroad should accept this cash to be deposited in the NRO accounts," he was quoted as saying.
Those who have accounts in branches of Indian banks in the UAE can deposit money in them using their own accounts. However, as is mandatory for such accounts, any deposit of Rs 50,000 or above would require the mention of the PAN number of the person.
Letters of authority
State Bank of India Chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya told reporters on Thursday: "NRIs who want to deposit or exchange currencies but can't come personally will have to send someone with authority letters."
She added: "No photocopy of ID cards will be needed while depositing and exchanging at our branches. We will issue a clarification if there is any confusion."
Getting it done from India
Those holding such currency notes in the UAE can get them exchanged for the new legal tender as and when they travel to India before December 30. Such people can also send money to people in India through services that will accept these Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes.