Bhutan yet to receive counter value of demonetized INR from India
The central bank, Royal Monetary Authority (RMA), is yet to receive the final confirmation on whether India will refund the equal amount of demonetized notes collected in Bhutan, which amounts to a staggering 2.4bn.
The Deputy Governor of RMA, Yangchen Tshogyel, told Business
Bhutan that RMA collected the demonetized notes from the public with the understanding that this money is the liability of India and that they would honor it by reimbursing the equivalent value to Bhutan.
“However, sometime in early mid November, we got information from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) that any decision to honor what has been collected and to give counter value rests with the Government of India,” said the Deputy Governor.
This was also the primary reason for freezing the accounts. “We have collected all the demonetized notes, but on the other hand, there is no guarantee that the counter value will be given,” she said. “Our hands are tied.”
Until a decision from the Indian government comes through, it is uncertain whether an equal value of the demonetized currency would be reimbursed.
Finance Minister Namgay Dorji however reassured that there is no question of whether central bank will get the counter value or not. “We have completed all the process and everything is systemized. There is no issue,” he told Business
Bhutan in a telephone interview.
The Ministry of Finance is in touch with India’s Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi.
Lyonpo Namgay Dorji said that the RBI is currently busy with demonetization in India and has not been able to give time to look into Bhutan’s case.
The RMA has followed all the terms and conditions of the RBI and Bhutan should receive the counter value from India, reaffirmed Lyonpo.
Meanwhile, the RMA received only Rs 35mn on December 5 although the weekly requirement of INR in the country is Rs 250mn.
“We have received only Rs 100 denomination notes which is being rationed out to the public due to the pilgrimage season,” said Deputy Governor Yangchen Tshogyel. “We are constantly talking with the RBI and we are pushing for an increased amount,” she said,
The RMA is expecting an increased amount of INR in the next consignment. The central bank will be rationing out INR to more number of people from next week. Currently, only 50 people can avail INR 5,000 from RMA in a day, that too on a lucky dip basis.