Could you please pay 41.000 INR…? In banknotes…?

India Currency OverhaulI’m in India for a special (work) assignment with a minimum duration of two years. We decided to keep our beautifully restored and amazingly designed house in the Netherlands as it is. No one will be there, as Marie-Gon, my wife, will be visiting our home country occasionally to do some design- and interior projects. Therefore, in general, we did not bring any stuff from our residency to India. However, we decided to bring some specific personal belongings to the sub-continent to give our new temporary home an extra warm feeling. As a result, we needed to determine how we should do it. How to bring personal stuff into India? We decided to work with DHL and fill small boxes with the goods that we wanted to bring with us. Finally, we ended up sending 18 boxes to India! In two of those boxes we shipped our Sonos Hi fi music system. That did not turn up to be a very good idea. Up to now, 16 of the DHL-boxes have arrived in Pune, unluckily in a very damaged state. The electronic gizmo has yet to arrive. But that was not the issue….They charge us for bringing electronica to India. We need to pay 41.000 INR (€ 561,-) now for a proposed import tax, although it’s very unclear if that is the exact reason as the postman speaks very little English. Of course, we were shocked. It’s a lot of money! But even more confronting was the fact that the people at the post office only could receive the amount in cash. Do they have any idea of the demonization of the banknotes, with people in line at ATM’s, as a result? It will take us months to take that much rupees out of cash dispenser! We yet haven’t decided what we will do but I’m sure I want my Sonos-system in my new house. I’m afraid that we will end up in paying big cash, but hopefully we can work out something else rather than paying the megabucks.

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