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Ex-foreign ministers draw Nepal government’s attention towards impact of Indian currency ban

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Kathmandu, November 11

Former Finance Ministers of Nepal have drawn the attention of the government towards the possible effect on Nepal after the Indian government imposed a ban on Indian currency notes of 500 and 1000 denominations.

At Friday’s meeting of the Parliament, former FMs Ramsharan Mahat and Surendra Pandey said the government should work to protect the interests of Nepali people in the wake of the Indian move.

They cautioned the government that certain elements may try to turn black money into white.

Mahat, also a Nepali Congress leader, said India’s move will affect small traders based in bordering Nepali territories and Nepali migrant workers working in India.

He said the government should take immediate steps to protect the interests of small traders, Nepalis working in India and people with known sources of income (in Indian currency).

Finance Minister (Krishna Bahadur Mahara) himself should be active, Prime Minister Prachanda should also take adequate initiatives, he said.

At the same time, Mahat said, some elements may take this opportunity to turn black money into white.

Mahat said black money from India may enter Nepal in the wake of the ban, urging PM Prachanda to be alert about this possibility.

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Citing Nepal Rastra Bank statistics, Mahat said Nepal’s banking system currently has INR 3 crore, whereas another former FM Pandey said it has Indian currency amounting to INR 3.5 crore.

UML leader and former FM Pandey said the government should safeguard the interests of the Nepali people in the wake of the ban.

At the same time, Pandey urged the government to make sure that Nepal does not turn into a place where illegally-earned Indian money is turned white.

Nepal should learn lessons from the Indian ban. He advised Nepali people to put money in the banks and be cautious while using foreign currencies. Unlike Mahat, Pandey said there are slim chances of black money entering Nepal from India in the wake of the ban.

 

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