London: The Indian government is looking at ways to help NRIs who may possess some banned currency notes so that they can deposit them at a branch of an Indian bank overseas, India's acting high commissioner to the UK said.
"Our endeavour is to help everybody. We have asked Delhi about it (any banned notes with NRIs). I have a feeling we will work out something so that people who have carried certain amount of cash in their pocket, should be able to deposit it in any Indian bank abroad," Dinesh Patnaik said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced a ban on Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes as part of an anti-corruption drive earlier this week, giving Indians the option to exchange them at banks across India until December 30.
The Indian envoy highlighted that under currency rules, people are allowed to carry only less than Rs 10,000 when leaving India.
"Basically, it means people abroad should not have more than that. Also, not everybody will have an account with an Indian bank ? either they will have to open one or find an alternative. So, it is something we will have to look at very closely.
"There is a lot of time, until December 30," he said.
Patnaik, the deputy high commissioner who stepped in as acting high commissioner after Navtej Sarna left to assume charge as Indian ambassador in Washington DC, said that the reason behind the ban was to bring in money from outside the legal system.
"This is not an amnesty scheme or any scheme to garner black money. This is a method to achieve cashless transactions, which in itself will stop corruption, and to make sure that the money which is lying within the non-legal system, gets into the legal system.
"And, of course, the threat of fake Indian currency will be eliminated, because that threat was mostly with Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. The new Rs 2,000 and Rs 500 will have greater security features and it will make it more difficult for counterfeiters to try and copy it," he said.