Indian currency crunch hits locals, tourists

Jhapa, December 6

Locals and visitors have been affected for want of money exchange counters in Pashupatinagar of Ilam at the Nepal-India border.

It has been learnt that lack of Indian currency now has to do particularly with the black-marketing of fuel. “

The ones who are in the black market trade of fuel need Indian currency to buy fuel in India, as thousands of litres of fuel is brought into the country through the entry point,” said a local, adding that the problem has hit locals and tourists hard.

“As shortage of the Indian currency has struck, the exchange rates have gone up,” said locals. “Earlier the branch of Rastriya Banijya Bank here had been providing currency exchange service, but once the Maoist conflict started, they ended the service,” said Milan Chhetri, another local, adding that frequent request to the government for an exchange counter had gone in vain.

“They take up to eight per cent as commission to provide Indian currency in exchange. If you’re ready to give them the commission, you will get the sought currency, otherwise not,” said another local on condition of anonymity.

On his part, Rastriya Banijya Bank Pashupatinagar Manager Arjun Subedi admitted there was swindling going on in the name of currency exchange, but expressed helplessness. “As the government has taken no initiative, we can’t do anything,” he said.