NEW DELHI -- The Dean of Diplomatic Corps and Dominican envoy, Frank Hans Dannenberg Castellanos, urged the Narendra Modi-led government to review the currency restrictions imposed on embassies pertaining to demonetisation, pointing out that the limit of funds allowed to them is not sufficient.
"Rs. 50,000 for operation of an embassy is not enough on weekly basis. Plus, Vienna Convention states it is our money, it is our funds, we cannot be restricted to accessing our funds," he said.
The Dean of Diplomatic Corps also informed about the action that they have taken so far in this regard.
"On November 11, we wrote a letter to the Chief of Protocol expressing our concern over demonetisationand how it is affecting the diplomatic community and the tourists coming from our country," Castellanos told ANI.
In another letter addressed to External Affair Minister Sushma Swaraj, he pointed out towards the day-to-day problems which the embassies are facing due to the ban on high-value currency.
"After receiving no response, we wrote another letter to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj explaining in detail the issues faced by embassies on daily basis, especially concerning the pay-roll for our staff at the end of the month," he said.
The Dean of Diplomatic Corps also revealed that several embassies including that of Russia, China and the United States are facing trouble in managing the expenditure of their staff.
"Although the limit for embassy accounts has been increased, it is not enough. Big embassies like America, Russia and China maintain huge staff...managing becomes very difficult for them," he said.
Talking about tourists from different countries, the Dean of Diplomatic Corps said that they have also voiced their concerns over the problems they come across courtesy demonetisation.
"We are very concerned for tourists in the country. There are many, who came beforedemonetisation and got their currency changed. And now, they are facing problems in getting it changed back to their currency," he said.
"We also have issue of countries that do not have access to international credit cards, like Cuba, Sudan, Iran. So, the tourists from these places need to carry cash because foreign credit cards won't be accepted," he added.
The Dean of Diplomatic Corps expressed hope that the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of External Affairs come up with some resolute action to ensure that the tourists in particular do not face any problems.
"We hope both the ministries and the Prime Minister himself make some efforts in realising that our funds cannot be limited," he said.
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