IC stock is sufficient: NRB

By Laxman Kafle

Kathmandu, Dec. 19:  The Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) has asked Nepali citizens not to panic over a possible shortage of Indian currency (IC) as the central bank has sufficient reserve to meet the IC demand for the next six months in the country.

The reassuring remark of the NRB has come amidst reports that India has unofficially stated it is not in a position to supply Indian banknotes to Nepal.

According to Narayan Poudel, spokesperson at the NRB, it has around 4.5 billion Indian rupees in stock - sufficient to provide to the needy people under the new provision of the NRB.

After India banned the transaction of IC 500 and 1,000 notes, the NRB reduced the limit on Indian banknotes to be provided from its counters to individuals seeking exchange services while going to India.

“Currently, we are providing IC to people in need under three categories, considering the people’s necessity and the currency stock. We provide IC 2,000 to people seeking money exchange in general. Besides, the NRB provides IC 10,000 to those who submit the required documents citing the need for Indian banknotes,” he said.

Earlier, the NRB used to provide IC 5,000 to individuals seeking exchange, he said and added that the NRB slashed the exchange limit due to the decline in the stock following the ban on high denomination Indian currency notes.

As per the new provision, the NRB provides up to IC 25,000 to those who need Indian banknotes for treatment on submission of medical papers.

To control the misuse of Indian currency notes, the NRB is offering exchange facilities to the people on the basis of citizenship cards and the required documents, Poudel said.

“During talks with NRB officials, officials of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) have informally told us that they would supply banknotes in due course of time. It means that the RBI is not in a position to supply Indian banknotes immediately,” Poudel said while talking with The Rising Nepal on Sunday.

He said that the NRB had doubts that the RBI would supply the banknotes to the NRB by the end of January as there was high pressure to exchange the demonetised notes in India itself.

He, however, said that an agreement had been reached between the NRB and RBI to supply 6 billion Indian banknotes to the NRB annually.

The NRB has received only IC 1.2 billion lately, he said.

He said that there would be no problem if the RBI did not provide Indian banknotes for a few months owing to IC scarcity in India because the NRB could manage from the present reserve.

Spokesperson Poudel urged the people to exchange Indian currency notes if it was urgent, and not hoard them at home.

Talking about the progress in the exchange facilities for the 500 and 1,000 Indian banknotes demonetised recently, he said that the NRB was holding discussion with representatives of the RBI to sort out the Indian currencies crisis at the earliest.

“We have not received any decision from the RBI over the issue till date. But we expect the RBI to take a positive decision in this regard,” he said.



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