Allow one-time exchange of outdated rupees

Some of my Singaporean friends and colleagues who travel to India frequently are caught in a bind on account of the Indian government's sudden announcement of the withdrawal of 500-rupee (S$10) and 1,000-rupee notes ("Rupee crunch: Visitors did not get change in India" by Madam Daniela Morena; Nov 23, "Rupee crunch affects frequent visitors to India" by Mr V. Balu; Nov 22, "Guidance needed on exchanging rupees in S'pore" by Mr Sam Vijaya; Nov 16, "Money changers, banks stop taking old rupees"; Nov 11, and "India scraps 500-rupee, 1,000-rupee banknotes"; Nov 9).

They find it convenient to keep a certain quantity of these banknotes for their next trip, but are now unable to exchange them at money changers here.

There is a close bilateral relationship between India and Singapore.

I hope the countries' central banks can work together to arrange for a one-time exchange of the affected banknotes through one of the Indian banks operating in Singapore.

Only local residents of Singapore should be allowed to use this facility, and documentary evidence, such as identity cards, employment passes or work permits, should be required.

Pradip Mandal

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 24, 2016, with the headline 'Allow one-time exchange of outdated rupees'. Print Edition | Subscribe