Currency black market thriving amid INR shortage

Birgunj, February 18

Though the protracted agitation and the blockade at border entry points have finally ended, the entrepreneurs of Birgunj are facing shortage of Indian currency.

“Though there is no official devaluation of the Nepali currency against the Indian currency, we are paying up to Rs 172 rupees for IRs 100,” said an entrepreneur.

Bam Bahadur Mishra, chief of Nepal Rastra Bank Regional Office, Birgunj admitted high demand of the Indian currency and the resultant devaluation of Nepali currency.

“Dependence on India and the Indian markets for the purchase of basic necessities has caused an increase in demand for the Indian currency,” Mishra said.

”The devaluation is still in practice though the border has opened after month’s long agitation and blockade,” he added.

Chief District Officer Keshavraj Ghimire of Parsa, blamed smugglers for the shortage of Indian currency in the market.

“Smugglers have been taking advantage of the absence of the police units on the border, demanding more Indian currency to purchase goods in the Indian market,” he said.