October 1: Considering the impact of increasing trade deficit and declining foreign exchange reserve in the country’s economy, the government has lowered the limit of US dollars that a Nepali citizen can carry along while visiting foreign countries.
The government made such provision after amending the immigration procedure. A meeting of the Council of Ministers on Wednesday took a decision to this effect.
As per the cabinet decision, Nepali citizens going to Gulf countries, SAARC countries, as well as Malaysia and Thailand will now be able to take only 250 US dollars with them instead of US 500.
The government took such decision after the Balance of Payments went into deficit and foreign exchange reserves came under pressure.
From now onwards, Nepali citizens going to Europe, USA, Japan and Korea have to show proof of exchange of at least US$ 500 or equivalent in foreign currency along with all the letters of the person or organization that bears the expenses.
Nepali citizens going to Gulf countries, SAARC countries, Malaysia and Thailand must show proof of exchange of at least US$ 250 or equivalent in foreign currency, along with an open letter from the person or organization bearing the cost. Apart from this, Nepalese going to other countries will be able to take 500 US dollars.
It has also been made mandatory to exchange dollars or other foreign currency from ‘A’ class banks approved by the Nepal Rastra Bank. The source of income also has to be disclosed mandatorily.
According to the Chief of Immigration Department under the Ministry of Home Affairs, Jagdish Aryal, the revised procedure has been implemented since Thursday, 30th of September, 2021. According to him, the Ministry of Home Affairs had written a letter to the Immigration Department asking it to implement the new arrangement. Earlier, NRB had tightened its grip on exchange of foreign currencies except the Indian currency.
On Tuesday, most bank chiefs were summoned and instructed not to exchange more than 200 US dollars in cash.
NRB is also going to tighten the rules on exchange of currencies as the foreign exchange reserves have decreased significantly. Based on the imports of the first month of the Fiscal Year 2078/79, the foreign exchange reserves of the banking sector will suffice to support the import of goods for 9 months and 10 days and the import of goods and services for 8 months only.
By June, foreign exchange reserves could support 14 months of goods imports. As of last July, the foreign exchange reserves stood at Rs 1399.3 billion. By August, it had decreased by 3.2 percent to Rs 1,353.82 billion. Out of the total foreign exchange reserves of July, Nepal Rastra Bank has Rs 126.51 billion and other banks and financial institutions have Rs 147.31 billion.