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Indian expats in UAE affected due to demonetisation

Dubai: Expatriates in the UAE are finding it difficult to send money to their families in India due to the continuing cash crunch caused by demonetisation, according to a media report.

The families are facing a tough situation after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the demonetisation move, the Gulf News reported yesterday.

Modi had announced demonetisation of Rs 1000 and Rs 500 notes on November 8, making these notes invalid in a major assault on black money, fake currency and corruption.

“I sent money for my family’s monthly expenses, but my son is unable to withdraw money from the bank because of long queues,” said Shamseer Singh, who works with an insurance company in Abu Dhabi.

He said many blue-collar workers from Punjab depend on instant money transfers, which are very convenient for their families to collect from nearest post offices or shops.

“Most of the instant cash services have collection points in almost every village where there are no bank branches at all. They are confused now how to end money,” Singh said.

The cash crunch has badly hit rupee remittance transaction to India through bank transfers and instant cash transfers, according to the staff at some money exchanges in Abu Dhabi, the report said.

Moreover, the situation has deprived Indian expatriates of an excellent opportunity to cash in on a record low exchange rate of rupees, it said.

Indian rupee fell to a record low of 68.86 against the US dollar on Thursday, making one dirham worth 18.7 rupees.

Yesterday, rupee was around 18.58 against dirham, still there were not many customers to send money to India.

According to the global financial services major, post US-elections, EMFX (Emerging Markets Foreign Exchange) has seen a sell-off, which has also led to some weakening in the rupee.

“Whenever rupee goes down against dollar, there was a huge rush; but not now,” a money exchange employee was quoted as saying by the daily.

“We used to do at least 250 transactions of Indian rupee a day, which has gone down to between 70 and 80. Around 60 to 70 were instant money transfers to India, which have been reduced to six or eight a day because collection centres in India do not have currency notes to disburse to their clients,” he said.

The money exchange employee said workers from North Indian villages, where access to banking system is limited, mainly depend on instant cash transfers.

PTI