Mon, Dec 5, 2016 | updated 10:02 AM IST

Demonetisation hits medical tourism from Bangladesh

Updated: Nov 21, 2016 08:51 IST

Siliguri(West Bengal)[India], Nov. 21 (ANI): The Centre's decision to demonetize high value currency is preventing patients from Bangladesh coming to India for medical treatment.

An official of the Fulbari Money Exchange Welfare Organisation (FMEWO) informed that the number of tourists and patients from Bangladesh has come down to 10 per day since the demonetisation drive came into force on November 8.

"The day Centre passed demonetisation of Rs. 1000 and Rs. 500 notes, the condition of Fulbari Banglabandhu has been in bad shape and most of the passengers from Bangladesh come for medical treatment," a FMEW official said.

"Most people come for treatment to Siliguri and South India. Passengers are also exploited, and without treatment, they are going back to Bangladesh," he added.

Relatives of these patients claim that they had exchanged Bangladesh currency or US dollars for high value Indian currency like 1,000 or 500 because large amounts of money were needed for treatment.

The demonetisation of Rs. 500 and Rs.1000 banknotes was a step taken by the Government of India on November 8, ceasing their usage as legal tender across India from November 9.

In an address to the nation on November 8, Prime Minister Modi declared the circulation of Rs.500 and Rs.1000 bank notes as invalid and announced the issuance of new Rs.500 and Rs.2000 bank notes.

Bank note denominations of Rs.100, Rs.50, Rs.20, Rs.10 and Rs.5 continue to remain legal tender.

The demonetisation of high value currency has been done to stop counterfeiting of current bank notes allegedly used for funding terrorism, as well as a crack down on black money in the country. The move is also aimed at reducing corruption, drug menace and smuggling. (ANI)