The Royal Monetary Authority (RMA) yesterday opened an Indian Rupee (INR) exchange counter at the immigration office in Phuentsholing.

All visitors and tourists from India can avail the exchange facility and convert their INR into Ngultrum. INR denomination up to Rupee 500 will be accepted.

Regional director with the RMA office in Phuentsholing, Dophu Dorji, said the exchange facility could be availed after a tourist gets the permit from the immigration.

“There are two counters and our officials will operate them,” he said, explaining the exchange counters were basically to facilitate tourists and provide convenience.

He, however, said that only tourists with valid route permits could avail the facility. Other walk-in exchanges would not be allowed for both Bhutanese and people from across the border.

The regional director explained that once the tourists are provided INR, an official exchange memo would be given to the individuals. “This memo can be used later when the visitors return and want to exchange Ngultrum into INR as they exit the country.”

He said the current official limit of USD 10,000 would be applicable.

RMA Governor, Dasho Penjore, opened the exchange counters. Indian tourists also availed the facility after it was opened.

The first client, Ajay Kumar Sah, from Siliguri changed INR 5,000.

“I am going to Thimphu tomorrow,” he said.

Ajay Kumar said the RMA initiative would benefit Indian tourists.

He also said such counters should be opened in other border areas.

Ajay Kumar said that Bhutan government could have dialogues with India and open exchange counters across the border to help Bhutanese change Ngultrum into INR.

Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing