Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB), the central monetary authority, has requested Ministry of Finance (MoF) to issue a notice in the gazette to legalise import of Indian bank notes of 500-rupee and 1,000-rupee denominations.“We sent an official letter in this regard to the finance ministry,” said Acting Executive Director of Foreign Exchange Management Department at NRB, Bhisma Raj Dhungana.
“Once the notice is published in the gazette, we will issue a directive, legalizing imports of Indian bank notes of 500-rupee and 1,000-rupee denominations.”
MoF had barred circulation of Indian bank notes of 500-rupee denomination in the country by publishing a notice in the gazette on June 26, 2000. Although the gazette does not speak of ban on Indian bank notes of 1,000-rupee denomination, NRB wants the MoF to make the mention of Indian bank notes of 1,000-rupee denominations while publishing the notice.
NRB made the request to the MoF after Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the Indian central bank, last week allowed Nepalis returning from India and Indian tourists to carry Indian bank notes of 500-rupee and 1,000-rupee denominations while coming to Nepal.
The sum of such bank notes, however, should not exceed INR 25,000.
In a statement posted on its website, RBI had said: “With a view to mitigating the hardship of individuals visiting from India to Nepal or Bhutan, it has now been decided that, an individual may carry to Nepal or Bhutan, currency notes of denominations above INR 100, that is, currency notes of INR 500 and/or INR 1,000 denominations, subject to a limit of INR 25,000.”
The latest policy change came two months after Indian Premier Narendra Modi made a public announcement in this regard during his Nepal visit. India barred individuals travelling from Nepal to India or from India to Nepal to carry Indian notes of 500-rupee and 1,000-rupee denominations in May 2000 to curb circulation of counterfeit Indian currencies and unauthorized trade. But Nepal was persistently asking India to lift the ban as cases of confiscation of such notes possessed by Nepalis, who did not know about provision, came to light.