'Indian Rupees (INR) are once again being illegally sold across the border. Both Bhutanese and Indian nationals in need of INR are paying between Nu 108-112 for INR 100.'
Source: Kuensel (December 26,2016)
Ever since the Demonetization of INR 500 and 1000 in India on November 8, Bhutanese people have been bearing the brunt of insufficient INR all these days, and it is going to happen for quite some time. The Royal Monetary Authority receives INR 130 million every week from India, but the figure is still too less. The demand has far exceeded the supply.
RMA says that majority of the people coming to exchange INR are those going for pilgrimage in India and Nepal. And due to insufficient INR, RMA has come up with a lucky-dip idea where only limited number of people only gets to exchange. The worst of all, people gets into the Que near RMA's office as early as 2 am. Even the children are not spared. Parents also have been bringing their children so that their chances to get the admission inside the money counter is high.
Isn't this a big shame on our mentality? Don't we have lots to learn?
It is very much agreed that we depend a lot to INR because we import more. We depend more to India, even for as small thing as Salt. It is very much agreed that INR is must for our daily well being and even survival is very difficult without INR, as we are much dependent on imports. But we could save ourselves from running into and getting victimized by lots of un-necessary commotions.
Yes, that's well stated. We could save ourselves.
Since when this pilgrimage has become necessary for us? It's a thing to wonder. I don't discourage anybody in going to pilgrimage. Infact I possess no right to do so. I am neither activist nor a bargain on anything, but this very small mentality worries a lot of us. Considering these very petty things, we forget a bigger picture and a more bigger concern. Health, for instance is a pressing issue for us all. As stated earlier, we very much depend on other countries and health facilities is one of them. A friend of mine has already delayed her medical treatment (surgery) in India because she can't avail INR that easily.
How many more such cases might be pending, because we care less about others?
Bhutanese are very passionate pilgrimages, right? The Kuensel edition on December 26, 2016 reveals a story about Ngultrum Value falling in Phuntsholing. A 100 note of INR is being sold at 120 Ngultrum in Phuntsholing. This is a disturbing news. How far are we going to go on like this? Doesn't this tells a lot of story about our economy? Our carelessness? and our mentality?
Bhutan is the Last Shangrilla and The Last Buddhist kingdom. We have heard, read, experienced and know it ourselves. Bhutan has enough sacred places, more sacred that what we think, enough to be the wonderful and satisfying site for pilgrimage. But, why it has been long forgotten? It's a big irony here that the world looks up to Bhutan for being so sacred and we, flock down for pilgrimage.
I fear that we are losing our own identity.
And what good does it bring by getting INR illegally, serving black duties and going for pilgrimage?
Chilli was the most talked matter a very few months back. People we literally crying for not getting chilli at the vegetable markets. The absence of the chilli was deeply moaned, and now it's the INR. I am wondering what surprise awaits next!!!