Demonetization : Foreign tourists facing problems

Shimla, Nov 14: Cash-crunch triggered by demonetisation of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 notes is not only causing inconvenience to people in the country, but foreign tourists visiting here are equally troubled as they are unable to use smaller denominations.

“Arriving on the morning of the November 10, and being in Delhi, we found that we were not able to get any money. The hotel had all its cash taken away and as a result they couldn’t give us small denominations, which is difficult when you are a tourist walking around and you need public convenience and you want to give tips; we couldn’t do any of that. The situation without any Indian money at all was very difficult. People were understanding, and even in some places, they took British pounds from us in order to be able to get over this problem. But, it really is quiet a difficulty. We are entirely reliable on credit cards. Because it’s another day, and now we are in Shimla, we find that there are ATMs open…I am hoping that things will get easier,” a tourist told ANI.

“It’s been a nuisance, we can only use credit cards and debit cards,” Juliet, another tourist, said.
Yesterday, foreign tourists visiting Taj Mahal in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, were caught off guard as ticket counters refused to accept their 500 and 1,000 rupee notes, and groups of foreigners were seen chipping in with change to buy tickets.

“I cannot buy a ticket because the ticket counter told me that 500 rupee and 1,000 rupee notes do not work here. I don’t know how, but I cannot find a way in India”, said a Chinese tourist.

Most foreign tourists were also unaware of the government decision and its intricacies. They also faced a problem exchanging currency as with both banks and Automatic Teller Machines (ATM) shut; there was an acute shortage of 100 rupee notes.

Domestic tourists also faced problems.

In a surprise announcement, the Centre withdrew the two of its largest currency notes at the midnight on Tuesday in a bid to flush out money hidden from the taxman.

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