The Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) is the largest organization for the welfare of PIO’s living outside India and is a non-partisan, secular global organization engaged in promoting their well-being and enhancing cooperation and communication between Indians living in different countries.
In a letter written by its President Niraj Baxi to India’s Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, GOPIO has welcomed and expressed its support on Government of India’s desire to curb black money and terrorist funding. However, GOPIO conveyed its concerns on behalf of the NRI/ PIO community. “It is a bold decision by Prime Minister Modi and we fully support him,” said GOPIO President Baxi.
Since the monetization was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, GOPIO received a large number of calls, emails and requests from the NRI/ PIO’s living abroad who are very concerned with actions taken by the Indian Government in regards to the withdrawal of Rs. 500.00 & Rs. 1000.00 denomination notes. Some NRIs/PIOs have left over cash from their previous visits to India, while others have used currency exchanges and banks to obtain the rupees abroad for use on their future trip to India. Many NRIs/PIOs have kept these notes for a while so as to use them on their return to India in the future. Some NRIs/PIOs have used less time consuming means of obtaining currencies from online money exchanges to take back to India .
As per India Government’s recent announcement, the NRI/ PIO’s cannot deposit these notes in their foreign banks (as they are refusing to accept them); do not have bank accounts in India to deposit and even if they do they cannot travel to deposit the notes and cannot exchange the notes as foreign banks and exchange outlets are refusing to accept these notes.
GOPIO has requested the Indian Government to extend the cut-off date by six months, as many cannot return to India by the end of December, 2016; Offer PIO’s with business and other income in India be similar deals as for residents (deposit up to Rs 250,000.00); Assist the PIO’s living abroad by providing an avenue to cash or exchange the Rs. 500.00 & Rs. 1000.00 denomination notes held by them for travelling to India; Increase the limit for exchange to Rs 25,000 when they arrive at the airports.
“NRIs and PIOs should be allowed to exchange whatever amount they have as long as they show the proof of past conversion of foreign currency to Indian currency in the last 10 years,” said Dr. Thomas Abraham, Chairman of GOPIO International.