GEORGE TOWN: Some 60 moneychangers in Penang are saddled with Rs500 and Rs1,000 notes worth millions after the Indian Government took the notes out of circulation. They just do not know what to do with the notes.

Muslim Jewellers and Money Changers Association president Anvar Hussain Rahumathullah, 59, said the matter was discussed at the association’s general assembly on Wednesday.

“We are in a fix and have no idea what to do next. The banks in India were closed on Wednesday and reopened today. We are waiting for details from the banks there,” he said when met at his outlet in Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling yesterday.

Anvar said they were no longer trading rupees until further notice as they did not have small change.

 An Indian couple who visited Europe and are now here have suddenly found themselves scraping for money following the announcement by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to scrap the Rs500 and Rs1,000 notes on Tuesday to weed out “black money”.

Businessman Devasish Saha, 27, said he had Rs50,000 (about RM3,200) in Rs500 and Rs1,000 notes and €160 (about RM720) with him.

“We still have another two days in Malaysia and five days in Bali before we head back home to Mumbai on Nov 18.

“We have paid deposits for our hotel rooms but we need to manage the balance payment with the money we have right now,” he said, adding he was glad he had credit cards.

Banks in India were closed on Wednesday to make the transition following the announcement made by Modi. New Rs500 and Rs2000 notes are now being issued in India while a fully redesigned Rs1,000 note will be introduced in the next few months.

Company executive K. Rajah, 55, said he was stuck with Rs95,000 (RM5,640) in Rs500 and Rs1,000 notes. He said he had been buying rupees for the past four years to take his family for a holiday in Tamil Nadu.

Having travelled alone to India several times, he wanted to take his wife and two children along on the next trip.

“Whenever the US currency or the ringgit strengthened against the rupee, I would exchange the currencies for rupees.

Rajah said he called his money changer to ask whether he could return the notes.

“But he told me he’s in the same dilemma. He has lots of such notes and doesn’t know what to do with them,” he said.

MIC president Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said Malaysians who had Indian currency should consult the country’s High Commission.

“I don’t think it is a major issue for genuine Malaysian visitors (to India). He said most Malaysians going to India would bring US dollars and get them changed to rupees there.