NRIs, foreigners have to surrender Indian currency before boarding

No rupees past departure lounges at international airports.

By Rajiv Theodore

NEW DELHI: If you are a non-resident Indian (NRI) or a foreigner visiting India and there is local currency in your possession when you leave for back home, you better watch out—the Indian customs officials can prosecute you.

READ: 1 rupee was worth $1 in 1947

According to the latest directive by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), any NRI or a foreigner leaving India cannot have any Indian currency on their person. But they could carry Rs. 10,000 in person into the airport till duty free shopping or departure lounges, but cannot have it in their possession at boarding.

He or she would have to surrender the Indian currency into a foreign currency of their choice before boarding. This would be facilitated by kiosks near the immigration counters at international airports where the exchange of the rupee for foreign currency would be rendered before boarding their flight.

READ: Will rupee crisis affect India’s foreign policy?

It had been common among NRIs to carry Indian currency while departing, mainly for the convenience of not having to exchange Forex into rupee when they return the next time.
This rule has been lying dormant as part of Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA). It is only now that the central bank is trying to enforce it.

The RBI has already allowed Forex changers to open outlets at international airports to facilitate NRIs and foreigners opting to exchange Rupee for other currencies before boarding.

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One Comment

  1. CharlesWilliamMorganJr

    This is an excellent idea with many advantages! The money-changers will make a haul from every traveler. They will LOVE their jobs! Oh, I can’t seem to think of any other advantages! I wonder why other nations do not impose such a weird policy? What could possibly be it’s purpose?

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