Indian-origin MP in the UK - Virendra Sharma, one of the senior most has urged the Indian government to end the uncertainty around demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes for NRIs and PIOs.
While talking to a news agency about demonetisation and the problems faced by Indians in the UK, Virendra Sharma said, "Still a month after the announcement of the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes millions of NRIs are living with uncertainty. The stress and strain of not knowing whether families will lose money."
"Thousands of families have a small amount of currency at home, to save exchanging money at the airport. These are the people that are accidentally being punished. Having a few thousand rupees does not make you a money launderer, and still, they are suffering," he added.
He stressed the Indian government should authorise Indian banks with branches in the UK to open the accounts with the deposits of Indian rupees. "This money should then be held and made available for withdrawal only in India. This would protect the economy, but still offer freedom to many thousands of Indian citizens and NRIs not based in India," he said.
Virendra Sharma received calls and letters on the issue from his constituents dominated by Indian-origin people, mainly Ealing, Southall, in south-west London.
Also read: Demonetisation: NRIs in the UK urge note exchange abroad
Keith Vaz, Britain's longest-serving Indian-origin lawmaker has appealed to the Indian government to extend the deadline for NRIs by at least six months. Besides, writing to Bank of England Governor Mark Carney requesting him to allow British Indians to exchange their banknotes in the UK. But there has been no relaxation yet.
As per the 2011 UK government census, British-Indians make up 2.5 percent of the population of England and Wales.