Gurwinder Pathania, a resident of Nangal Bihala, Punjab who currently resides in Germany, has written to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to lodge his protest against the refusal by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI)to exchange the old currency in his possession.
Pathania told the media that he was living in Germany for the last 25 years. He and his wife came to India on October 16 last year and returned to Germany on November 6. He had saved some money and kept about INR6 lakh in his bank locker in India. After they returned to Germany, PM Modi had announced demonetisation of INR 500 and INR 1,000 notes. He said that the deadline for exchanging old currency was December 31, 2016 so he sent his wife back to India, but since the locker was in his name, the concerned bank didn’t allow his wife to open it despite her producing an authority letter.
Pathania said that he came to know that the deadline for NRIs to exchange the currency was March 31 and hence he came to India on March 24.
He and his wife went to the RBI office in New Delhi with the old currency with the hope that his money would be exchanged. The RBI, however, said that since his wife had an Indian passport and had returned to the country in December the money couldn’t be exchanged. Pathania said that the PM had promised that the hard-earned money of NRIs would be exchanged. He has appealed to the PM to intervene and allow the exchange of his money.
(If you are an NRI and have faced similar difficulties in exchanging your demonetised Indian currency, please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org)