Holiday to India to be hit by rupee crunch

Several months ago, I was among a group of eight Singaporeans who paid for a holiday in India, leaving next week. We also changed money to rupees for spending, all in 500-rupee (S$10) and 1,000-rupee notes.

With the rupee crunch after the Indian government demonetised these banknotes, and given the withdrawal limit for exchange for new notes in banks in India, half our time there will be spent queueing in banks instead of enjoying the holiday ("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).

We have tried to get advice from our travel agent in India, friends, money changers and Indian banks, but the advice has been confusing, contradictory and inconsistent, and really of little help.

Will the High Commission of India in Singapore help people like us caught in such a predicament?

I suggest that Indian banks in Singapore offer a service to exchange 500-rupee and 1,000-rupee notes for other denominations, provided these travellers are able to produce proof of their visit to India, for example, return air tickets, receipts of money paid for tours, performances and so on, up to a reasonable limit, sufficient for our entire period in India ("Allow one-time exchange of outdated rupees" by Mr Pradip Mandal; Nov 24). 

Gan Boey Keow (Ms)