Demonetisation a huge cause of concern for NRIs, PIOs

Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin’s (GOPIO) president Niraj Baxi, in a letter to India’s Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, expressed that the organisation has welcomed and supported government of India’s desire to curb black money and terrorist funding by declaring a ban on Rs 500 and Rs 1000 rupee notes.


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“It is a bold decision by Prime Minister Modi and we fully support him,” said Baxi. The organisation, however, also conveyed its concerns on behalf of the NRI and PIO community.

GOPIO is the largest organisation that looks after the well-being of the NRIs and PIOs living outside India. It is a ‘non-partisan, secular global organization engaged in promoting their well-being and enhancing cooperation and communication between Indians living in different countries’.

Since Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced demonetisation, GOPIO has received numerous calls and emails from NRIs and PIOs regarding withdrawal of higher currency.

Some of them have leftover cash from their previous visits to India, while others have used currency exchanges and banks to obtain the money abroad for use on their future trip to India. Many have even kept these notes so that they can use them on their return to India.

According to the government’s recent announcement, the NRIs and PIOs cannot deposit these notes in their foreign banks and exchange outlets are refusing to accept these notes.

GOPIO has requested the government to grant an extension of the cut-off date by six months as many of them cannot return to India by December end. The organisation has also urged that the government should offer the NRIs and PIOs with business and other income in India, similar to the residents of the country.

NRIs and PIOs have also requested government’s assistance by way of providing an avenue to exchange the old notes held by them for travelling to India and to increase the limit for exchange to Rs 25,000 when they arrive at the airports.

“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 Dr Thomas Abraham, Chairman of GOPIO International.

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