KOCHI: Indians in Qatar, estimated at about six lakh, may find it hard to exchange Qatar Riyal with banks and money changers in India temporarily stopping trading in the currency. Exporters dealing in export of foreign currency have also stopped buying QAR.
At the moment, the currency is fixed at a strict rate of about QAR 3.64 per dollar. But, the premium demanded to guarantee future currency trades have spurted in the past two days, hitting levels last seen during the 2008 oil price collapse.
“A number of money changers, who have stocks of Qatar Riyal are not able to offload their currency, which they have purchased from foreigners and their clients. Many tourists arriving to India from Qatar are facing acute issues in converting their Qatar Riyal into Indian rupees,” said Ravi Menon, head, foreign exchange, Cox and Kings.
The value of QAR has been depreciating since January this year; it now stands at Rs 17.63.
“Muthoot Forex has stopped accepting Qatar riyals, like other forex dealers. We are following the market trend, and due to the travel restrictions placed by the other GCC Countries, the demand for QAR has also come down drastically,” said K R Bijimon, director, foreign exchange, Muthoot Forex.
K V Shamsudheen, chairman of the Pravasi Bandhu Welfare Trust expressed hope that the crisis will be resolved soon.