Friday, July 26, 2013

Before 1991 - Travel in Foreign Countries

The following is an excerpt from the book, "A Better India: A Better World" by N.R.Narayana Murthy.

If I wished to travel abroad even for a day, I had to make an application to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and wait for ten to twelve days. It was not always certain that I would get a positive response. I also had to submit a report on my trip abroad after I came back. A friend of mine was to travel to meet a few business prospects - a couple of them in Paris and one in Frankfurt. He obtained approval from the RBI for two days' stay in Paris and a one-day stay in Frankfurt. When he reached Paris, his second prospect asked him to meet him in Frankfurt since he had to leave for an urgent meeting there. The result was that my friend spent two days in Frankfurt and one day in Paris while the approval was for the reverse. When he returned to India and submitted his tour report to the RBI, he was issued a 'show cause' notice as to why he should not be prosecuted for violating foreign exchange regulations! It is unimaginable that we have moved from that era to the present one, when it has become extremely easy for Indian companies to do business overseas.

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