Indian govt unlikely to extend deadline for exchange of demonetised notes for NRIs

Muscat - 

Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) possessing the demonetised currency notes of R1,000 and R500 will not be able to exchange after June 30 as the government is unlikely to extend the deadline further, said Homi Phiroze Ranina, former director of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and an eminent lawyer.

RBI has extended the deadline for overseas Indian citizens who failed to do so till December 30, 2016. Resident Indian citizens, who were abroad from November 9 to December 30 last year can avail this facility up to March 31, 2017. NRIs who are abroad since the announcement of demonetisation policy on November 8 can exchange their notes up to June 30.

Speaking at an event organised by Modern Exchange Company (MEC) on India’s Budget 2017, Ranina said, “The government is unlikely to extend the deadline for exchange of these notes as it needs to collect data about how much currency has been deposited so far. So, it cannot go on exchanging the currency for an extended period.”

On India’s budget, he said, that the government has taken a bold step and its implications are also visible on budget proposals. India’s Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has given some startling facts in the budget proposals. Ranina added that out of the country’s population of around 1.2bn, only a little over 150,000 people have declared income over R5mn per annum whereas at the same time nearly 20mn passenger vehicles, including a large number of luxury cars have been sold in the country. And that means a large number of people in India are neither filing income tax returns nor paying taxes, he said.

Such large evasion of taxes have created a parallel economy, and demonetisation and digitalisation is going to be the only solution to counter such parallel economy, Ranina said.

H E Indra Mani Pandey, India’s Ambassador to Oman, said India is passing through the most exciting time in recent history. If NRIs from the GCC want to return to their homeland, this is the best time to do so and they could benefit from the high economic growth India is witnessing nowadays, H E Pandey added.

Phillip Koshy, general manager, MEC said the main objective for organising the event was to create awareness about budget proposals in the light of recent demonetisation steps taken by the government.

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