New Delhi assures foreign embassies it will look into cash crunch woes | india-news | Hindustan Times
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New Delhi assures foreign embassies it will look into cash crunch woes

Foreign secretary S Jaishankar has assured diplomatic missions that the government is considering “practical measures” suggested by embassies to ease the cash crunch.

black money crackdown Updated: Dec 15, 2016 01:41 IST
Jayanth Jacob
Serpentine lines outside ATMs have become a common sight since the government announced Rs 1000 and Rs 500 had been scrapped as a part of a crackdown on black money in the country.
Serpentine lines outside ATMs have become a common sight since the government announced Rs 1000 and Rs 500 had been scrapped as a part of a crackdown on black money in the country. (Pratik Chorge/HT File Photo)

Foreign secretary S Jaishankar has assured diplomatic missions that the government is considering “practical measures” suggested by embassies to ease the cash crunch emanating from the demonetisation of high-value notes, but did not set a time frame for arriving at a solution.

Sources said Jaishankar wants the government to address missions’ difficulties on priority basis.

Read | Russia feels demonetisation pinch, protests cash shortage for diplomats

A list of suggestions by various embassies on easing the cash crunch was handed over to the foreign secretary on December 18. They included increasing the weekly embassy account withdrawal limit to the equivalent of $5,000 per week, and allowing diplomats posted in Delhi to draw up to Rs 50,000 in the same time period. At present, embassy accounts are entitled to withdraw just Rs 50,000 per week.

Read | Pak mission officials face trouble over salary withdrawal, India steers clear

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s surprise announcement to scrap Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes last month sparked chaos and confusion across the country, with millions of consumers queued outside banks and ATMs to change a limited number of old notes for new ones or withdraw cash.

The government said the move was aimed at rooting out black money and corruption.

Also read | Demonetisation fallout: Experts warn note ban will slow down Indian economy