Far-west people in possession of Indian currency worried

Bajura, November 16

The decision to ban the 500 and 1,000 denomination Indian currency notes has been the bane of most households in the far-western regions of Nepal as many youths from the hills head off to India to work as soon as they are able to.

Tej Bahadur Singh of Juwapani, in Barhabisa VDC, Bajura’s has 50,000 Indian rupees in 500 and 1000 denominations. “This is all the saving of my son who works as a security guard in India. He has been saving money to buy some land, but ever since I’ve heard that these notes aren’t accepted anymore, I am very worried,” he said.

According to Tek Bahadur Shahi, a local of Barhabisa, up to four million rupees in Indian currency has been approximated from a single village of Barhabisa. “There are around 135 houses in a village and they are found to be in possession of up to 4 million rupees in 500 and 1000 denominations,” he said.

The demonetization of the high denomination currency notes has affected all nine districts of the far-west region and five of the districts in Karnali.

Humla CPN-UML district committee member Debachu Sarki, said local traders and businessmen are exchanging the banned notes for Nepali currency of similar denominations.

Trader Bagadal Mall of Kolti Bazaar of Bajura also bemoaned the demonetization of the high denomination notes.

On his part, Banijya Bank Bajura branch senior assistant Jitjung Singh said many people are frequenting the bank to exchange their Indian currency notes these days. “Nepal Rastra Bank is taking diplomatic initiatives. I think something will come out of it in a few days,” he said.