Russia feels demonetisation pinch, protests cash shortage for diplomats | india-news | Hindustan Times
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Russia feels demonetisation pinch, protests cash shortage for diplomats

black money crackdown Updated: Dec 06, 2016 16:05 IST

Long queues in front of ATMs is still a common sight more than a month after demonetisation was implemented on December 5, 2016. (Sunil Ghish/HT Photo)

Russia has lodged a protest with India on cash shortage affecting the working of its mission in New Delhi after the government’s move to scrap high-value banknotes last month, asking for a quick resolution of the issue --- failing which it may explore options including summoning the Indian diplomat in Moscow.

In a letter, Russian ambassador Alaxander Kadakin has raised the issue of diplomats not being able to withdraw enough money hampering the normal functioning of the mission and sought intervention of the external affairs ministry so that the withdrawal restrictions for diplomatic staff are lifted.

“We are awaiting a reply from the MEA and hope that this is resolved quickly. Otherwise, we will be forced to explore other options which may include raising the issue in Moscow with your Embassy by summoning Indian Minister Counsellor,” a senior Russian embassy official said in New Delhi.

Other options may also include restriction on the cash withdrawals for Indian diplomats posted in Russia, the official indicated.

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

There are approximately 200 staffers in Russian mission here. There was no immediate reaction from the Indian side on the complaint.

Earlier, the Dean of Diplomatic Corps had also raised the issue, complaining about the problems faced by the missions. It is also understood that some other countries like Ukraine and Kazakhstan have also protested to the ministry.

After the demonetisation exercise last month, the foreign ministry had said it has approached the department of economic affairs over three or four types of requests including those related to maintaining sufficient flow of funds to diplomatic missions.

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.