The Reserve Bank of India or RBI today permitted foreigners to carry up to Rs 10,000 beyond the immigration desk to the duty free area in airports for miscellaneous expenditures, provided they dispose of the Indian currency before boarding plane.
Earlier, foreigners were allowed to carry Indian currency up to the customs desk or the immigration desk at international airports in the country.
"On a review, it has been decided to allow non-residents to carry Indian currency up to a maximum of Rs 10,000 beyond Immigration/Customs desk to the Duty Free Area/Security Hold Area (SHA) in the departure hall in international airports in India for meeting miscellaneous expenditures...," RBI said.
The permission, however, is subject to the condition that they will "not be allowed to carry any Indian Rupee beyond SHA and that they should dispose of Indian currency before boarding the plane," the RBI added.
In order to provide money changing facility to non-residents to convert unspent Indian Rupees with them, RBI said Foreign Exchange Counters in the departure halls in international airports may be established in the Duty Free Area/SHA beyond the immigration/ customs desk.
Such counters will however, only buy Indian Rupees from non-residents and sell foreign currency to them, it said.
The central bank further said putting up display at forex counters, "reminding the passengers that the area is the last point for non-residents to possess Indian Rupees (INR)" will be the responsibility of the Airport Authorities.
Earlier, forex counters were permitted in the departure halls only before the customs desk or the immigration desk.