Protest by Money Exchange Traders in Ahmedabad Over License Renewal Issues


Ahmedabad, April 16:  In a striking demonstration of dissent, money exchange traders in Ahmedabad took to the streets on Monday, marching from New Vadaj to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) office, brandishing banners and wearing black bands. The protest was sparked by the traders’ frustration over the non-renewal of their licenses, which has severely impacted their ability to conduct business.

The traders, numbering in the hundreds, voiced their grievances against the RBI’s alleged failure to renew licenses, citing harassment by 4x traders as a major hindrance to their operations. According to sources within the industry, the number of licensed money exchange traders has plummeted from approximately 220 in 2022 to a meager 60 presently, indicating a significant decline in the sector.

During the protest, traders expressed their dire circumstances, highlighting the financial hardships and uncertainty they face as a result of the license renewal issue. They called for immediate action from the RBI to address their concerns and ensure the smooth functioning of their businesses.

In response to the protest, representatives from the RBI agreed to accept application forms from the traders. Additionally, the traders are seeking a meeting with the Regional Director of the RBI in Ahmedabad to discuss their grievances and seek a resolution to the ongoing license renewal problem.

The protest by money exchange traders in Ahmedabad underscores the challenges they face and the urgent need for regulatory intervention to address their concerns. It highlights the importance of a favorable regulatory environment for businesses to thrive and contribute to the city’s economic growth.

The Gujarat Authorised Money Changers Association (GAMA) members, including Jasmin Dattani, President, along with Sandip Shah, Bhrugesh Vyas, CA Maunesh Shah, Hemendra Solanki, Ashish Acharya, Mahaveer Jain, and others, are facing a roadblock where their pleas seem unheard. They are urging the RBI Ahmedabad authorities to listen to their grievances and clarify their mistakes, if any. They are willing to undergo training if required by the RBI and are committed to following the correct procedures for providing money exchange services, which they have been doing for years as their livelihood, across different parts of Gujarat.

According to GAMA members, there were over 220 licensed money changers in Gujarat. However, for reasons unclear to them, around 80 percent of them have been unable to renew their licenses, depriving them of conducting business. This, combined with the financial losses due to the Covid-19 pandemic, has severely impacted their ability to earn a livelihood. They express concern for the thousands of family members who are dependent on their services, highlighting the urgent need for resolution to resume their operations and support their communities.

The GAMA members say they feel they are being alienated to this treatment by the RBI, because, they insist that no other city f India this treatment is being meted out to the money exchange traders. They say they wrote hundreds of emails to different authorities at all levels at the RBI, Central Government and State Government authorities, met with several elected representatives during these two years of  dilemma. They say they don’t know why they are being subject to such a humiliation and distrust. They wish that the RBI authorities restore their employment avenue

Gujarat and specially Ahmedabad Witnesses Surge in Demand for Foreign Exchange Services:

Ahmedabad, a city experiencing rapid development and improving quality of life, has seen a significant rise in the demand for products and services related to foreign exchange. The city’s growing influx of people from around the world, including students, business travelers, and tourists, has contributed to this trend.

One major driver of the increased demand is the rising number of students pursuing higher education abroad. Hassle-free and instant currency exchange services in Ahmedabad have made it easier for students to manage their finances while studying abroad.

The city’s widespread industrialization has also played a crucial role. The growing business sector has led to an increase in entrepreneurs and business travelers, both from Ahmedabad and other countries, further fueling the demand for foreign exchange services.

Additionally, Ahmedabad’s thriving tourism industry has contributed to the surge in demand for currency exchange services. The city’s rich culture, cuisine, and natural beauty have made it a popular destination for travelers, driving the need for convenient money exchange services.

Overall, Ahmedabad’s growing prominence on the global stage has created a need for efficient and reliable foreign exchange services, making it a hub for currency exchange in India.