Bangladesh Bank (BB) is burdened with devalued Indian currency worth Tk 50 crore as it could not return the discontinued notes in two years after India’s withdrawal of the banknotes in late 2016.
The BB authorities couldn’t return the notes to the Reserve Bank of India despite sending several letters.The Indian government on November 8, 2016 announced the ban on the Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes. The move was intended to crack down on corruption, black money and illegal cash holdings.
However, the Reserve Bank of India last week announced in its annual report that 15.3 trillion rupees worth - or 99.3 per cent - of the devalued bills had been returned, raising questions about the point of the controversial attempt to tackle illegal money.
The deadline for exchanging the defunct currency notes expired in March 2017.
BB wrote to the Governor of Reserve Bank of India within the timeline seeking its support to exchange the defunct currency notes but didn’t get any response, officials said.
BB Governor Fazle Kabir recently sent another letter to RBI Governor requesting his intervention for settling this issue.
BB Executive Director Serajul Islam said Bangladesh Bank have communicated with RBI authorities for returning the banned notes.“We are very hopeful of getting a positive response from the RBI,” he told the daily sun.
Bangladesh Bank received a large number of notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 from different exchange houses and airports.
After the withdrawal of the notes, Sonali Bank tried to lobby with RBI through its branch in Kolkata but failed to return the banned currency.
Agrani Bank Chairman Zaid Bakht said this is an ethical responsibility of the Indian central bank to take back the banned currency from Bangladesh.
“The defunct rupees worth of 50 crore remain unused. As the central bank holds all of the currencies, so there is no risk at the individual level. Bangladesh Bank can work with the foreign ministry to send back the discontinued banknotes,” Zaid Bakht told the daily sun on Friday.