By Prajwal Shrestha
After Indian PM announced ban on high denomination Indian notes, the Nepali people have also become victims. It is estimated that commoners are holding billions of rupees of such banned Indian currencies. They are confused, whether they can exchange the Indian currencies with them or not. This is the result of the open borders and also our high dependence on the Indian market. The Nepal government had to take necessary measures to control the free flow of the Indian currencies in the market. After the economic blockade, the government had to take necessary measures to end Indian domination in the market. On that issue too, the Nepal government did nothing.
The Nepal-India open border is really a threat for Nepal as well as India. India is always alleging Nepal for closing eyes on trafficking of the fake Indian currencies to India. India wants to keep open the doors and suspects on Nepal for doing illegal things. More serious is that if the open borders will be used by the international terrorist groups against India, at that time, India will be a great sufferer. Therefore, to stop illegal trafficking and to curb terrorist activities between the two nations, both the countries should become ready to close the open borders and introduce passport and visa provisions while the citizens from each or other country are travelling. The imminent persons groups from both the countries are holding discussions on reviewing the 1950 Treaty. The prime agenda in reviewing the Treaty should be scrapping the provision of keeping the international borders open. More than Nepal, it is in the interests of India to curb security threats as well as any possible threats on the Indian economy.
India is an economically booming country in South Asia. But if India fails to curb black money and also fake currency racketing, the Indian economy can collapse. In this regard, India should always become alert in trafficking of fake Indian currencies as well as trafficking of the black money across the border. If India will not be ready to close the open international borders, the present efforts of Modi to ban high denomination Indian currencies will be useless. Certainly, Modi has taken a high risk from taking such a bold step to curb black money. But if the Nepal-India borders are kept opened, such black money can come into Nepal again. Of course, we have “Roti-Beti” (bread and daughter) relations but sometimes, such relations can be harmful as well. The Indians can send their black money to their relatives in Nepal to make them white. The only option to get rid from such threats the borders have to be closed by keeping open some trade points only.
In conclusion, our policy makers and political leaders have to take lessons from such an Indian move and become alert in the days to come. Furthermore, the Nepali currency has set its exchange rate with the Indian currency at the value of 1 IC equal to 1.60 NC. This can also be harmful in the long run. As India is planning to enter in the global monetary fund making her currency fully convertible with the foreign currencies of others, Nepal has to do necessary homework on its impacts, which is very much important.
Lessons to learn
By Prajwal Shrestha