SBI sets up currency exchange counters at WHO meet

Greater Noida, Nov 10 (IANS) The State Bank of India (SBI) on Thursday set up a currency exchange counter at the venue of the ongoing WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) for the convenience of foreign delegates.

The move comes in the wake of the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes by the government on November 8.

The counters were set up after receiving complaints from foreign delegation members about the difficulty they faced in using the Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes after arriving in the country.

According to the bank officials at the counter, every foreign individual can exchange up to Rs 4,000 every day till the conference concludes.

“This counter will remain open from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. from today (Thursday) onwards till the conference concludes on November 12. Every foreign individual can exchange only up to Rs 4,000 every day against their old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes,” the bank official told IANS.

A senior health official, who is part of the Brazilian delegation at the WHO FCTC, told IANS: “The sudden decision by the Indian government to demonetise some of its currency notes is a problem.”

“We arrived last week and had exchanged our currencies which mostly included Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 currency notes. However, this bank (SBI counter) will solve the problem to some extent,” the official said.

Members from the Indian delegation told IANS that after listening to the complaints of foreign delegation members, Additional Health Secretary Arun Panda is said to have called the District Magistrate of Greater Noida, who asked a local SBI branch to set up the counter and facilitate the foreign guests.

A total of 1,500 members from 185 countries are participating at the ongoing seventh edition of the WHO FCTC — the world’s biggest anti-tobacco policy-making convention.