Does anyone know what the current situation is in India regarding the Indian rupees?
The rupee has had a steady rise, due to increased number of middle class and a front seat at tech revolution. If you are referring to a specific issue, I am not sure I am aware of any big negatives as of late. Here is a look at the events in the rupee timeline.
The rupee keeps going up and at this time is at 67.63 to the USD. Today it is at 67.43
Long lines in front of all ATM's and almost impossible to use a foreign credit card, so bring cash.
I have been to India for the past 6 days and have no been able to use an ATM yet.
Changing cash is limited to 65€ per day at official places, so you are often down to the money changers at market and so on and they exploit the situation, so you are likely to lose around 10% when you change money at the moment.
Some people say that things should be back to normal in about 3 weeks, but most people I have spoken to are sceptical about this and think it will take longer than that.
All in all, the money situation is one big mess at the moment, both for Indians and foreigners and India is losing a lot of tourist revenue because the tourists can't get their money changed.
So remember to bring plenty of cash and be ready for a louse exchange rate if you are about to arrive to the country.
I should have remembered that you were in India at the moment, so I should have waited for your input. Thanks for the "boots on the ground" report compadre......d:o)
The problem at the moment Erik is that they have had a money exchange in India 3 weeks ago and the old 500 and 100 rupee notes can not be used anymore, but the exchange has been so quick that millions of Indians, especially the poor Indians with no bank accounts and little access to banks at all, have been stranded with bank notes that are not usable anymore. Also they have not printed enough new bank notes to cover the money exchange, so there is complete chaos in front of all banks at the moment.
And this makes it very tricky for foreign visitors too, as you are now allowed to change more than 65€ per day officially, which makes it hard for someone like me who is cycling through rural parts of India, where I can not get to a bank every day.
I managed to change 300€ yesterday at the market for a very bad rate, but I had to, as I am away from the tourist trail for the next 7 days when cycling from Agra to Varanasi.
My daughter and her family currently live in Bangalore and they inform me that while things have gotten better and there are more bank notes in circulation every day, the situation is that virtually nobody can make change for the new 2000 Rupee notes (it was hard enough to get change for the old 1000 Rupee notes). The 500 Rupee notes are still in very short supply. The smaller bills that are needed to make purchases from the small shops, local places to eat, the market and pay taxi or autorickshaw drivers are even harder to find than they were before the demonitization issues.
There are still long lineups at banks and ATMs. If there are no lineups, it's because they have run out of cash.
Larger stores, restaurants, hotels, etc. that take credit cards are fine, but these places tend to be higher end. Some places insist on Indian issued credit cards and won't take foreign ones. Online shopping works as well, but is of limited use to the travelers.
Nicely said, things are still a mess. Travelers can usually work around some of these issues, by using services and merchants that take electronic payments. The same holds true for the wealthier locals, but the poor, especially in rural areas are really suffering.
From a foreign exchange standpoint, the new banknotes are not readily available outside of India. The banks and foreign exchange services where I live in Canada will not buy or sell Rupees in any denomination right now.
I am hoping to head over to India in the next few months, so am actively monitoring the situation.
The 500 and 1000 notes can not be used anymore.
No one will take them.
And yes, the new 2000 notes are too big to pay anything but a hotel room with.
I had got 20 000 rupees myself yesterday in 100 bills, even if it's very unpractical to carry around.
It pretty much looks like this outside every bank that has a functioning ATM, in the Delhi/Agra region at the moment.
Things seem to slow down slightly, but people are still talking about at least 3 weeks before things will start to normalise.
Thanks for the update Claus. Don't know how I missed this. I guess I am getting to old for this sh^t........d:o)
Trust me, I know what it is like to find oneself amongst an unruly mob in India. Thanks buddy.
Some correspondents refer to "chaos" and an "unruly mob" in India. In the last 3.5 weeks I didn't see any unruly mobs nor chaos, but rather patient, orderly lines outside banks. Not once - even on busy roadsides - was I jostled, shoved, groped or robbed. Indians are brought up to expect that life will be challenging and also to be respectful and polite.
I have not seen any people being unruly as such either.
Just a hell of a lot of people lining up in front of all banks that are open. Especially if they have a functioning ATM.
Same story again today when I walked past the local banks here in Agra.
I've just spent 3 weeks in the North East of India including a few days in Kolkata. I arrived just after the introduction of the 'De-monetization' programme swiftly introduced by the government. Mr Modi, the Prime Minister, introduced this contraversial policy as a way of reducing the 'Black Money' that was sloshing around the banks and under wealthier people's mattresses. It has certainly lead to lengthy queues outside ATMs and much frustration amongst Indians but, as a previous poster has pointed out, the locals appeared to accept these inconveniences as part of the way of life and for many, if it means a fairer and just distribution of wealth and a reduction of corrupt practices, then it may all be worth it.
Upon arrival at Delhi airport on 15 November I was allowed to exchange currency worth 6000INR. This was given to me in 3x2000INR notes. I managed to get change for one at the airport and thereafter somehow managed to get change for the others. I ended up giving my tour guide and driver their gratuities in UK notes which they graciously accepted. I never went into a bank to get foreign exchange, instead I used ATMs and was fortunate never to have to wait long. The maximum amount I could get out from an ATM was a single 2000INR note. My guide was helpful in enabling me to change these notes but I know he struggled a bit. In all I can honestly say I wasn't hugely inconvenienced but without the support of my guide I'm sure I would have found significant difficulties.
Towards the end of my trip people and the newspapers were suggesting that the situation was improving but only slightly. Once the new 500INR notes get out into circulation it should be much easier to change the larger denomination notes but the timetable for their roll-out appears to have slipped somewhat......
Let's hope the policy works and the amount of 'Black money' declines. I've no grasp of economics but it strikes me as a very bold move of the current Indian government.
The idea to curb hidden and untaxed money us good as such. The problem is just that the prime minister forgot that poor people in India does not have bank accounts and hide their savings at home. And many of the rural people do not live near a bank. That is not such as surprise s rich Indians are largely ignorant to the country's social problems.
The idea with the money exchange is in theory good, but it has been executed very badly and the only people I have met so far who is happy with the situation are the black market money exchangers who make a lot of money these days.
We arrive India on 8th Feb so hoping it's cleared up by then. We will bring plenty of cash as it's readily available here in Dubai.
You know Claus, - I have seen a trend from India in the forums. The only country where people from India ask us about another part of India. It appears that many of the nouveau riche have very little knowledge about their own country. It contradicts what I experienced there where little kids at 10-12 years old in small village schools, could rip off US presidents in proper sequence for the last 100 years. The kids were just so well educated, even in really small one room school.
The old rule still in play, - nothing stays the same......
Thanks all for your helpful answers. I arrive in India on Thursday, I have been calling quite a few placed where I live and in the UK if they have any cash for me and sadly they do not. All I have is euros and a foreign card. This is going to be a nightmare.
Hi, When you said 65 per day at official places, what are these places? I have been calling a lot of places so I get some cash and I am in no luck. I arrive in the country on Thursday been trying to figure this out all month. I land in delhi but I doubt the airport is going to be of any help either to get any cash,
There will probably be some Currency exchange bureaus open in the arrivals hall before you go through customs at Delhi airport. You will at least get 2000INR for your 65Euros.
You can then go to the pre-booked taxi office and pay for your taxi fare with the 2000 Note. They will give you change so at least you you will have some 100INR notes. That will be a start.
Try to relax about it - the locals have had to put up with this inconvenience for weeks now.
I hope you enjoy your trip,
I stand corrected from my earlier post. I mentioned that rupees were readily available in Dubai. I went to 6 exchange houses yesterday and NON had small denom notes. Only one had the new 2000 note.I am hoping things improve by Feb.
Good point you mention MikeBird about changing a 2000 note at the pre paid taxi office. As we intend to use this service on arrival. It's a good start.
The 65€ is at the official Bank of India exchange places.
You have one before going through customs at the airport, but expect to wait around 2 hours in line there.
I just left India and the rupee situation has not improved. Most ATMs were empty and long lines at ATMs that did happen to have cash.
I wrote a blog post about it here: [original link]
Basically - try to bring cash with you to exchange at the airport.