Demonetisation- Sixty days of extended relief for NRIs

Demonetisation Sixty days of extended relief for NRIs

As the country waited for the Prime minister’s speech on 31st December 2016 with anxiety and anticipation, the RBI prepared some more guidelines to make demonetisation a relatively process for the NRIs. Midnight, the central banking authority of India declared that it was extending the date by which the NRIs can exchange their banned notes.

  • Instead of March 31, the NRIs can now exchange the old 500 and 1000 rupee notes till June 30, 2017.
  • The facility will be available through Reserve Bank offices at Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, and Nagpur.
  • However, Indian citizens resident in Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan and Bangladesh cannot avail this facility.
  • The customs officials have prepared a one-page form that will have to be filled up by the NRIs when they come to India, to declare the details of the money they are bringing in.
  • Then the demonetised currency along with the form has to be submitted to the specified RBI branches.
  • The money being brought into the country by NRIs, as earlier, remains subject to the Foreign Exchange Management (Export and Import of Currency) Regulations, 2015.
  • NRIs will also have to submit a copy of their passports with immigration stamps to prove that they were not in the country between November 9 and December 30, 2016.
  • In case any person is aggrieved by any refusal on the part of the RBI to credit the value of the demonetised notes, he or she can complain within fourteen days to the Central Board of the RBI, Mumbai.

Almost two months after the government came up with the massive demonetisation process, here are some of the trivia on the step taken:

  • Prime Minister Modi brought on this shock treatment for the Indian economy with two purposes in mind-

–  Eradicate black money from the economy

– Remove the circulation of fake money supply that the government claims has come from Pakistan

  • As of November 9, a day after the demonetization process, there were approximately Rs 15.44 lakh crores afloat with the public in the form of the high demonetisation notes.
  • Between then and now, there has been a huge amount that has come into the banks as deposits-however; best to wait until March 31 and wait for the central bank gives one figure for the entire period of November 8 to then.
  • The figure for mid-December was approximately Rs 12.44 lakh crores – about 80% of the amount in circulation pre demonetisation.
  • Over time, the restrictions on cash withdrawals have been modified for customer convenience – the limits for ATM withdrawals have been increased from Rs 2500 to Rs 4500. The weekly limit, however, remains Rs 24000.
  • It is said that there could be some possible benefits of this process: 90% of economic transactions in India are done with cash. Lack of cash could give a push to other alternatives – the country might just be on its way to becoming a cashless economy.
  • The other side to all of this is that a highly cash based economy suddenly went into a lurch and people are still trying to find a path forward.
  • It would work well for the country to give this process a few months before any substantial effect is seen.
  • With black money being out of circulation, people expect real estate prices to fall too (more on that in blog in the next few days-keep watching this space on our website).
  • Construction, Textiles, and Infrastructure sectors are also industries that could take a hit due to the demonetization process. Labour intensive areas of work are expected to be affected.
  • The big picture effects on jobs in the economy would depend on how fast the Indian economy rises back from this process, how soon the money supply gets restored and when the limits on cash withdrawals are removed.
  • The government expects that the multiplier effect of having hoarded money being reintroduced into the economy would give the economy a boost.

Announcements and predictions are consistently being made regarding the demonetization process. While we make an effort to keep you updated, sometimes the frequency of the notifications cannot be matched. We advise you to keep checking the RBI website for the latest on this process and more.

DEMONETISATION – The greatest move to eradicate Black Money.

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SO MUCH CAN HAPPEN IN THIRTY DAYS!

Social Media is today dotted with tongue-in-cheek comments on how much can happen in one month – and how 30 days can change the way we live! Exactly a month ago, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced strict measures announcing the withdrawal of the Rs 500 and 1000 notes from the economy. This ‘Demonetisation’ that was initiated was aimed at eliminating fake currency, give a blow to terror funding and bring in control the hawala transactions in the economy. The core slogan that has been floating around is – “India Defeats Black Money.”

Where are we now? One month after this Demonetisation Tsunami hit the daily lives of the citizens, what is the state of affairs in the economy? A quick analysis could give us an idea about the following:

  • Major announcements regarding the demonetisation process were made on November 8, 2016.
  • Modifications followed on November 17, then 25th and subsequently at various steps, the government announced various measures.
  • The latest announcements, at the time of publishing this article, have come from Arun Jaitely in the form of incentives to go digital in transactions. These are:
    • Buying monthly seasonal tickets in the suburban railway networks through digital mode will get a discount of 0.75 per cent.
    • This will start from the Mumbai suburban railways and will start from January 1, 2017.
    • There will be 5 per cent discount if an individual pays through the digital mode for catering or retiring rooms at railway stations
    • People buying petrol and diesel through the digital methods will get 0.75 percent
    • People who pay general insurance premiums online will get a 10% discount and people paying life insurance will get a discount of 8%
    • Around 1 lakh villages of the population over 10,000 will be selected and provided with POS (point of sale) machines.
    • If you pay digitally at national highways and use Smart Cards and RFID facilities at toll plazas, then you would be entitled to a 10 percent
    • In addition to all these, the government has also announced that no service tax will be charged on transactions through the debit/credit cards, provided these are below Rs 2000.

Some of the declared effects of this entire process of demonetisation are:

  • About Rs 4 lakh crores has been injected into the financial system
  • The RBI has to plug back a total of Rs 14.48 lakh crores that had gone out of circulation
  • As per the RBI declarations, Rs 11.5 lakh crores of the illegal tender was deposited by the people in banks, till December 6, 2016.
  • The analysis shows that approximately 65% of the money taken out of circulation remains to be replaced.
  • As per reports, about Rs 1.5 lakh crores had been released into the system till on November 25.
  • The RBI has officially stated that only Rs 4 lakh crore is back into the system.
  • Meaning thereby that the RBI is releasing only a third of the cash that is being deposited back into the system in the form of illegal tender of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denomination notes.
  • This implies that though the printing of new currency started two months ago, in September, the paucity of cash in India may take a while to go.
  • The purchasing power of the people has been However, it is expected that this kind of a disruption in the system would be short lived and business activity would gain momentum as the high-value banknotes gradually get replaced, and black marketers end their operations.
  • It is broadly said that the current socio-economic disruption was an essential step in the country’s drive towards making its economy stronger and resulting in a higher GDP.

The current demonetisation is unprecedented and historic . Notifications and updates are coming in daily . While we are trying our best to bring you the most accurate and updated Information on this subject it is a possibility that by the time we relay the information it might have been changed. Please verify from the official site of RBI before taking any action (https://www.rbi.org.in/) We will not be held liable for any discrepancy in the information.

 

DEMONETIZATION AND NRIs

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There is a common online joke in India these days that the new definition of a Tsunami is the sombre voice uttering -mere pyaare deshvaasiyo…  With all the humour that it evokes on a daily basis, it is indicative of the powerful change that the storm named -Demonetisation-  has brought into the country in the past three weeks or so.

On November 8, Prime Minister Modi shook the nation by his announcements regarding the demonetisation process in the country. Broadly, his announcement enunciated the following:

  1. The legal tender character of the existing banknotes in denominations of  500 and 1000 issued by the Reserve Bank of India till November 8, 2016 (from now on referred to as Specified Bank Notes) was withdrawn.
  2. All these notes could be exchanged over the counter in any of the 19 offices of the Reserve Bank of India and deposited at any of the bank branches of commercial banks/ Regional Rural Banks/ Co-operative banks (only Urban Co-operative Banks and State Co-operative Banks) or any Head Post Office or Sub-Post Office.
  3. The minor details stood as following-
  • Over the counter exchange of the old notes of Rs 500 and Rs, 1000 was withdrawn post-midnight November 24, 2016.
  • From November 25, an individual could only deposit the old notes in their accounts and then withdraw new currency through ATMs or cheques at banks.
  • The government intends encouraging people who currently do not have accounts to open them and deposit the abolished notes.
  • There would still be a limit of Rs 24000 per week withdrawal per bank account
  • At the time of this article being published, ATMs can be used to draw up to Rs. 2,500 a day per card.
  • The RBI has doubled the limit on digital transactions through e-wallets like Paytm to Rs. 20,000 per month.
  • For Foreign citizens, the rule is that they would be permitted to exchange foreign currency up to Rs 5000 per week. However, now entries would be made in their passports. The RBI proposes to issue further guidelines regarding this.

The move also affected many NRIs who keep Indian currency with them sometimes. As per rules, NRIs are supposed to reconvert the Indian currency into their foreign currency before they leave India so that they don’t have much Indian cash with them. In case for some reason they were not able to reconvert, the following applies to them-

BRING THE CASH WITH THEM TO INDIA

  • If planning to travel to India before December 30, 2016, then bring the cash and exchange it at any bank or post office in India.
  • Also, up to March 31, 2017, exchange the money at specified RBI offices by producing required documents (passport showing you were not in India before current visit from the time of announcement of demonetization, valid identity proof etc. Please check RBI website for more information)

SEND THE PHYSICAL MONEY WITH SOMEONE TRUSTWORTHY:

  • If unable to travel to India give the money to someone else trustworthy who is travelling to India.
  • They could then exchange it on the person’s behalf.
  • It is advisable that an authorizing letter is provided to that person to exchange the bills on the NRI’s behalf with other valid documents like PAN card, Aadhar card, Passport copy, Visa copy, etc.
  • Please do remember that the limit on currency a traveler can bring into India without declaring is Rs. 25,000.

IF THEY ALREADY HAVE CASH IN INDIA:

  • According to RBI guidelines, if an NRI already has old banknotes in India, he may authorize in writing and enable another person in India to deposit the notes into his bank account.
  • The person so authorised, has to come to the bank branch with the old banknotes, the authority letter given by you and a valid identity proof (Valid Identity Proof is any of the following: Aadhar Card, Driving License, Voter ID Card, Pass Port, NREGA Card, PAN Card, Identity Card Issued by Government Department, Public Sector Unit to its Staff).

DEPOSIT THE OLD NOTES IN YOUR NRO ACCOUNT:

  • NRIs can deposit your notes into their Non-Resident Ordinary (NRO) Savings Account.
  • However, this is an option only if they are traveling to India before December 30, 2016.

There have been some sections that are troubled by the system of changing old notes or withdrawals, but by and large, people are hopeful of positive changes happening in the economy. The bird’s eye view or the big picture opinion seems to point out to the fact that in the long term, this move would reduce the dependence on cash alone, increase the inflow in banks leading them to reduce lending rates in the economy and thus, help increase demand in the economy.

While we attempt to bring you the latest in the country on this issue, it is vital to remember that new notifications are being issued almost every day. We do suggest you keep a close check on our website www.nrilegalservices.com and also verify facts from the RBI website www.rbi.org.in.

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Detoxifying is an often misused word. However, if it were seen as yet another way to keep our body pure and free from diseases, one would learn to value this process. What is of immense importance, however, is that we respect our body, understand its needs and problems and then follow a detoxifying routine that adds energy to our basic system rather than leaves us feeling weak and starved. We do the routine cleaning at home only when we get time from our more pressing job or business responsibilities. In the same way, our digestive system takes care of the accumulated backlog only when we give it some rest. This rest comes in the form of light eating. As long as we are eating to our fill, there is no chance of the backlog to be cleared. The importance of weekly fast or a 12-day “detox” can be followed during the regime of a full Holistic course. We can reap huge benefits even by shorter rest periods too. Whenever you find yourself tired, out of sorts or uneasy, your first line of defence should be to skip dinner. Just this much of sacrifice will help you bounce back the next morning. It does not have to be zero food either. Maybe you can do with half the normal dinner? Or just a bowl of boiled vegetables or maybe soup. This intermittent fasting will help your digestive system to recoup fast. Some people rather skip lunch but that proves counterproductive because one feels voraciously hungry around 5 pm and ends up eating junk. If you are skipping dinner, make sure that you don’t indulge in a midnight binge. Steel yourself and make sure that even if you find it difficult to sleep, you do not take anything except water after 9 pm. You will be so much the lighter the next morning and will find yourself full of renewed vigour. By the way, skipping dinner is also a magical remedy for eliminating cough and cold. At the first sign of throat irritation, decide not to eat anything after sunset. You will be in fine fettle the next morning.

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ALL FOR A HOT CUP OF TEA!

Munnar is perhaps one of the leading examples of what Rudyard Kipling said, “The first condition of understanding a foreign country is to smell it.” Step into this city at the convergence of three rivers and be greeted by a range of flavoured aromas – tea, cardamom, ginger, pepper, cinnamon, espresso, nutmeg, and cloves. From refreshing to pungent, Munnar offers you a taste of life in its most raw yet most ethereal form. Mountain peaks, lush sprawling tea gardens, wilderness, meandering rivers and spice gardens – this and more in this enthralling home to waterfalls and tea estates. You could be walking along curved paths and simply breathe in the freshness that the fragrance of tea leaves laced with that of spices brings with it. Couple it with the opportunity to buy all the sources and you’re bound to be in love with the experience that this part of the country offers. You could even indulge in sinfully delicious chocolates and convince yourself that the calories added are balanced by the sheer love, purity, and passion with which these are made by so many small ventures here – white or dark, liqueur or simple, plain or the ‘nutty’ ones!

At a height of about 6000 feet, this amazing geographical domain lends an enriching experience of walks through low floating clouds and misty roads, age-old architecture and nostalgic whiffs, dense wilderness and structured tea gardens! Childlike wonder and adventure could make you want to bounce and dance your way over the sloping tea bushes. Just as the misty environs during the rains and otherwise set your mind thinking on cinematic reels. Amongst the attractions here are a few tea estates at heights of almost 800ft – tough rides in jeeps through the mountain paths to reach the destination get negated by the spectacular view that you see from these heights. There are some tea factories standing strong and firm in their work since the early 1900s. The historical significance is enhanced by the fact that quality of the produce remains unmatched even now.

That Munnar has been an important summer resort for the British during the times of the Raj. One can still bask in the warmth of the colonial remnants even while enjoying the wilderness. Picture perfect gets a new definition here in Munnar. There is hardly any other place that offers such a vast spectrum of natural beauty. Lakes, hills, waterfalls, greenery and buildings, that tell different historical stories. The most amazing waterfall here called the ‘Powerhouse Waterfalls is located on way to Thekkady falling from an altitude of 2000 metres above sea level, this is a must visit site for all tourists. It gets its name from the Power station located here on the waterfalls. Another tourist delight is the Floriculture Centre where one gets to view hundreds of species of flowers, decorative and medicinal plants, orchids and even cactus. The Mattupetty dam and lake are ideal beauty spots for people to enjoy boat cruises. The town is famous for its Indo-Swiss livestock dairy project and people enjoy homemade chocolates and other decorative artefacts. Another vantage point is Echo Point, at some distance of a few km from Munnar. Like any hill station, this is a point which gets its name from the spectacular views and the echo phenomenon here. Trekking and mountaineering can be enjoyed here.

Munnar gets considerable fame from its lake associated with Sita Devi in the quaint hill station of Devikulam in this area. Said to possess minerals and acclaimed to have healing powers, this lake attracts a lot of religious and other tourists. The Eravikulam National Park, located about 15 km from Munnar is home to the Nilgiri Tahr too. Easily comparable to the best mountain ranges in the world this was declared as National Park in 1978 due to the ecological significance and the flora, fauna and zoological importance of the place.

One of the most enchanting historical attractions is structures called -Dolmens-. These are megalithic tombs which are made of large granite slabs to form square burial chambers. It is said that sages (munis) were buried here. Besides, one can also find a lot of caves which overlook the Pambar River, and depict forms of rock paintings painted by tribes here. Marayoor-the part of Munnar which houses these structures now attracts tourists and is definitely not to be missed when you visit this part of the country.

Munnar is a name that leaves you with memories of rain and mist, hilly walks and whiff of tea leaves, spicy sojourns and homemade chocolates and a rendezvous with Nature in one of its best forms. Indulge yourself and soak in all of this while you discover this part of the country.