NRIs in UAE may have Rs 2.8 billion cash in hand

NRIs in UAE may have Rs 2.8 billion cash in hand

Abu Dhabi - And they are clueless on how to exchange these now-defunct notes with new ones.


Ashwani Kumar

Published: Tue 15 Nov 2016, 4:47 PM

Last updated: Tue 15 Nov 2016, 7:28 PM

Hundreds of thousands of Indian expatriates in the UAE are yet to get rid of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes - the currencies made untenable by the Narendra Modi government.

When seen as just one Rs 500 note (Dh27) and Rs 1,000 (Dh54), these are not big amounts to fret over but considering each Indian could be in possession of a minimum Rs 1,000 this cobbles up to a staggering amount.
Also read: India's money problem to last 120 days, not 50

Check this. The UAE has an estimated 2.8 million plus Indian expatriates - a figure quoted by the previous Indian ambassador TP Seetharam.

Any Indian travelling to the UAE will land with at least Rs1,000. If so, then the total amount hits - Rs 2,800,000,000, i.e. Rs280 crore or Rs2.8 billion.

This amount seems hypothetical considering the many variations to be factored-in with the main contention being it could be Rs100 notes making up Rs 1,000. Another aspect is a sizeable number of children too making the 2.8-million population.
Also read: Don't blame Modi, banks responsible for ATM queues

However, in cases where children are involved, their grandpa or grandma will surely give them a token amount before flying out, something that happened in the case of Pranav and Gauri. "We each got Rs1,000 from our grandparents," the two children said.

Their parents - Girish Unni and Nimta Girish - both have excess of Rs 25,000 still with them.

"We had kept the money to use it while travelling back to India. It's sad that we will not be able to use it anymore. It has no value now. Our Rs 25,000 in hand is just piece of papers," Girish said.
Also read: 25 FAQs every Indian should know about Rs 500, Rs 1,000 notes

And then there are those who just reached the UAE shores to find themselves in a miserable state.

Couple Ranju Rajan and Rini Ranju said: "We came here last week and have Rs 20,000. We tried to get it changed to dirham through money exchanges but we haven't succeeded in doing that. We don't know if there is any option left."

It maybe the Indian mentality that is hurting them, said a Filipino. "We will never enter the UAE with too much of peso. Indians seem to love their currency too much and are paying for it now."

Then there are veterans, who have served the UAE for long years and unknowingly accumulated a big chunk.

Dhyanesh, who is in Abu Dhabi for more than 20 years, has amount in excess of Rs 40,000.

"I just don't know what to do. It's only now I realised I am sitting with such big pool."

It's the poor workers who are the worst hit.

"Each one of us got Rs 500 to Rs 1,000 or more. Now what to do? The money exchanges have shut doors on us. We are struggling for food and salary, and now the Modi government has piled our misery," said Rakesh Kumar, a worker.

Having less money seems to have helped a few, like Mohammed Rashed. "I had just Rs 500 and I have managed to send it back through a friend."

Sending money back through friends and relatives seems to be the best bet until the money exchanges are back offering changes.

The amount of Rs 280 crore could be a bare minimum. Indians do tend to enter the duty free with a big amount or keep for taxi change while returning back home. Even as an Indian lands in the UAE, they are bound to keep some change for taxi fare when they will return maybe a year later. It is such visionary planning that are hurting the Indians now.

Usually seen trend is of Indians with at least Rs5,000 in hand. That is a grand total of Rs 14,000,000,000, i.e., Rs14 billion - enough food for the Indian government to think about.

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