Saturday, March 15, 2014

Foreign Exchange Before 1991

For nearly four decades, foreign exchange was a taboo subject for most Indians. Governments guarded the foreign exchange reserve as if it was a treasure trove. The office of the chief controller of foreign exchange was a hallowed place and only the privileged few could gain admittance to the sanctum sanctorum. I remember travelling from Chennai to Mumbai to plead with the chief controller my case for an allowance to study abroad and, finally, I got the princely allowance of $7 per day for 10 months in a year!

Mercifully, FERA (Foreign Exchange Regulation Act) was buried finally on May 31, 2002.

Excerpt from "A View from the Outside" by P.Chidambaram.

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