The Royal Monetary Authority opened rupee exchange-counters at the RMA Thimphu and Phuntsholing branch offices on 12th January for facilitating exchange of Ngultrum notes for Indian Rupee (INR) notes. To start with the facility is for Bhutanese proceeding on pilgrimage to India.
Any Bhutanese citizen going on pilgrimage may, in person, avail INR from the RMA exchange counters in Thimphu and RMA branch Office in Phuntsholing up to a limit of Rs 50,000 per person on production of personal CID to the exchange counter tellers.
RMA in its release said,” These initiatives are to re-enforce the national policy of maintaining one to one parity between Ngultrum and INR by making INR freely accessible to the general public for all legitimate transactions.”
The requirement of INR earners and exporters to deposit INR earnings into the banking system on time was also emphasized by the RMA.
The RMA had originally proposed to do away with any rupee limits but this plan was modified at the recent RMA board meeting to put a ceiling.
The facility to be extended by the RMA is to improve and supplement the exchange services already being rendered by the 5 commercial banks. However, the banks can continue to give only the Rs 10,000 limit per person.
“Considering the national significance of the policy and practice, we would request the general public to refrain from misusing or abusing the facility for personal gains,” said the RMA.
Through the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) the RMA will be instituting stringent monitoring and surveillance systems and any person found in violation of the law, like misusing the facility would be subject to the penalties prescribed under Section I, 10 (I) of Operational Guidelines for Indian Rupee Transactions.