In a bid to make life easier for transit travellers taking flights to India, the country’s aviation ministry has appealed to the Reserve Bank of India to permit ATMs and currency exchange counters before immigration areas at airports

Flyers who take flights to India and apply for visa on arrival and those who take airline tickets to India for transit travel are likely to have it much easy at Indian airports as the country’s aviation ministry has requested the Reserve Bank of India to allow ATMs and currency exchange counters before immigration areas in international airports.

“Transferring passengers (who spend anywhere between two hours and 24 hours at airport) are required to spend substantially on food and beverages and use other facilities in the transfer area, and spending in foreign currency is not feasible,” a leading financial daily quoted from aviation ministry’s consultation paper on mushrooming India as an aviation hub.

The current guidelines of RBI do not consent to foreign exchange counters before the immigration in airports’ arrival terminals. The aviation ministry has termed it a “major hindrance” for travellers transferring from hub airports for onward flights for international tours.

While the percentage of transferring passengers at international hubs is between 35%-55% of the total traffic, at Indian airports it varies between 2% and 8%, which is very low in comparison.

It must be noted that the geographical location of the country works in its favour with people looking for cheap flights to India for further travel to Far East destinations and other Southeast Asian Countries.

The news report says, a finance ministry official of the country is of the opinion that RBI, in all probability, is going to allow foreign exchange counters before immigration counters, however “any bank who sets up an ATM should look at its viability.”

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