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Demonetisation has hit arrival of tourists’( the hindu)

The figurehead of foreign diplomats in India has warned that the demonetisation process is likely to hit people-to-people contact between India and the world.

Speaking to The Hindu on Monday, Dean of Diplomatic Corps in India, Hans Dannenberg Castellanos, the Ambassador of the Dominican Republic, said that tourist flow to India has reduced since demonetisation was announced on November 8 and the government’s plan continues to prevent diplomats from carrying out duties.

“Iranian and Sudanese medical tourists are facing trouble due to demonetisation as they mostly do not have bank cards due to sanctions on their countries. Similar is the case with the Cubans and Afghans who are complaining about the currency exchange limit,” said Mr. Castellanos, elaborating that the tourists who chose India months ago as their winter destination have been cancelling travel plans.

Mr. Castellanos, as the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps first approached the government on November 11 complaining about the hardships that demonetisation imposed on foreign diplomatic missions and on foreigners visiting India. On December 8, he met Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar and was assured that the government would give “highest consideration” to the problems faced by the diplomats.

In his letter to the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, the Dean highlighted the plight of medical tourists and students who had arrived in India before the new financial restrictions were placed and were finding it impossible to exchange them for new notes.

“While a lot of us are trying to adjust to the restrictions after demonetisation but several embassies that are undergoing construction need additional cash as they are facing difficulties in paying workers,” he said.

Kallol Bhattacherjee

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