Banned Indian notes in Nepal will be exchanged soon: Jaitley

Kathmandu, March 3 (IANS) India’s Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday said the currency notes scrapped by his country on November 8 last year but still in Nepal’s financial system will be exchanged soon.

Interacting with journalists here, Jaitley said he has not yet received a study report prepared by a two-member team of the Reserve Bank of India that visited Nepal to take stock of the situation in this regard.

“It is our central bank’s autonomous decision,” he said.

Jaitley is in Kathmandu on a two-day visit to participate in the Nepal Investment Summit-2017.

Nepal has been repeatedly urging India to make arrangements to tackle the circulation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes demonetised by India. The RBI team visited Bhutan too for the purpose.

The Minister said the Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) and the RBI are already in talks on the issue.

“The banned currency will be exchanged but precaution should be taken to ensure that genuine transactions take place. I’m sure they will come out with a scheme (to provide exchange facility),” Jaitley said.

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on November 8 that his government was withdrawing from that midnight the high-value currency notes from circulation to crack down on, what he said were, rampant corruption, counterfeit currency and terror funding.

Following the demonetisation decision, the NRB too banned the circulation of old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes in Nepal from the very next day.

Referring to the investment summit, the Minister said it will attract foreign investments in Nepal as well as boost commercial cooperation in south Asia as planned.

Jaitley paid courtesy calls on President Bidhya Devi Bhandari, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’, and Finance Minister Krishana Bahadur Mahara, among others, and reiterated India’s commitment to Nepal’s developmental endeavours.

(Anil Giri can be contacted at girianil@gmail.com)

–IANS

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