In a relief for the Indians traveling abroad and NRI’s, the government of India has given a grace period of six months to deposit up to Rs. 25,000 of demonetized 500 and 1000 rupee notes.
In order to deposit the old notes in the bank, the NRI’s have to get the demonetized currency first to the customs officials and get their declaration form stamped by them.
The declaration form along with the demonetized currency should be submitted to the specified Reserve Bank branch, this after the 50-day window to deposit old notes in bank ended on December 30th.
The special window for Indian nationals traveling abroad is valid until March 31st and in the case of NRI’s the window will be open until June 30, 2017.
According to the statement released by the finance department, “subject to the Foreign Exchange Management (Export and Import of Currency) Regulations, 2015. As per these regulations, bringing back such currency into the country is restricted to Rs 25,000 per person”.
The statement also gives strict warning to the people traveling from Nepal and Bhutan as they are not permitted to carry specified bank notes (SBNs) of old 500 and 1,000 rupee notes.
“For the period from up to March 31, 2017, or June 30, 2017, as applicable, a declaration form will need to be filled by resident Indians and non-resident Indians coming to India and carrying SBNs for depositing these SBNs in the specified offices of RBI in India,” the notification said.
“At the airport/land Customs stations etc. on entry, Customs stamp on the said forms shall be affixed and the same shall be submitted along with other documents to RBI offices.” A one-page form has been worked out for the purpose.
The statement has stressed upon the process the travelers have to go through during the customs clearance as the customs stamp will be crucial when submitting the old notes in RBI. The Finance Ministry has also asked the customs department to maintain a scanned copy of each application.
“The Customs officer shall strictly count the number of notes and tally the total amount mentioned before stamping the form submitted by the passenger,” the notification said.
The ministry said that the new window has been announced to facilitate the resident and non-resident Indians to convert their old notes to new when they come back home. The ministry also asks all airlines to keep the passengers updated about the new release.
“While discharging the above task, care may be taken that due courtesy is extended to the declarants and that no unnecessary inconvenience is caused,” it said.
“The ordinance imposes penal liabilities on the holders of SBNs after the specified date,” the notification said.
The government on December 31st announced that keeping old demonetized notes will be considered as a criminal offense not amounting to a jail term and punishable with a fine of Rs. 10,000 or five times the cash held.
“The details of the declaration and statements that are required to be submitted along with the SBNs at the time of deposit in RBI issue offices will be separately announced by RBI. Any false declaration will invite a fine of Rs 50,000 or five times the amount of the face value of the SBN tendered, whichever is higher,” a ministry statement had said after the Ordinance was promulgated on Friday.