Prime minister Mr. Narendra Modi made a historic announcement on 8th Nov Evening to curb the chronic menace of fake currency in India. Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes of Indian currency are no more valid from 12 am Midnight of 9th Nov 2016. While this is a much appreciated and much needed move to control fake currency and black money deposits in country. It may lead to some confusion in the local market, especially to our fellow travellers who are here in India from different countries. Below are few quick Money Tips to avoid such confusion and have a memorable stay in India.
1- Plastic Money Rocks
The simplest of all is to use Credit Cards/Debit Cards wherever it is acceptable. With growing penetration of cards it becomes the easiest alternative. Though it may incur some currency exchange charges. It is still better than struggling with Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes that are not accepted anymore. No problem with people carrying traveller’s check.
2- Dollar Power
Many hotel properties and travel agencies accept US dollars in India. There is a little trick while using US dollars for payment. Money Tip: Never ask for the bill in dollars, it may get bloated up. Ask for the receipt in Indian rupees then convert it with current exchange rates and pay the equivalent value in US Dollars.
3- How to Convert the Banned Notes
Foreign tourists can purchase foreign exchange equivalent to Rs. 5000 using these specified bank notes(Rs.500, Rs.1000) at airport exchange counters within 72 hours after the notification, provided they present proof of purchasing the Specified Bank Notes. So it is must for carry proof of purchase of the Indian currency.
Indian travellers who are carrying these notes can take it to any branch of the bank they have account in and get upto Rs.4000 per person in cash irrespective of the size of tender and anything over and above that will be receivable by way of credit to bank account. This exchange facility is also available at all Issue Offices of RBI and branches of commercial banks, State Co-op banks or at any Head Post Office or Sub-Post Office. In fact for exchange upto 4000 in cash you may go to any bank branch with valid identity proof. There is a simple form you may need to fill to deposit/exchange these notes in the bank. See Sample
However since the banks will be closed on 9th and maybe on 10th as well. We have to wait till the bank opens.
Below is a quick synopsis of changes proposed.
4- Traveller in Transit
Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi in his address to the nation said, ”The
old notes will also be accepted at Railway booking counters, government bus stands and airport ticket booking counters. Those moving to and fro from the country will be allowed to exchange their old notes/foreign currency in the 72 hour window ”. This shows the thoughtfulness of the government while planning such a move. “72 hour window” means 2 days here, since the banks & ATM’s in India will be closed on 9th and 10th November. So travellers don’t need to worry as you have a backup.
5- Emergency Needs
You can use the Specified Bank Notes for paying for your hospitalization charges at government hospitals, certified medical stores within 72 hours after the notification.
6- Don’t Get Cheated
There are multiple reports coming on television of thugs trying to take advantage of this situation to cheat people. Incidents are reported that guys are exchanging 500 notes for 350-400 and 1000 notes for 800. There is no need to get into this trap since the banks will give 100% of the money we have. This may be an alternative for those who want to hide their black money. You may also find people who will try to convince you give away your money to some needy (fake) since it is of no use to you. Please don’t get in such traps. This Money Tip will save you a lot.
Our money is hard earned let’s keep it safe and let this phase pass through.