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Taj Mahal, India says no thanks to US Dollars

By Chris V. Thangham     Nov 16, 2007 in World
The US dollars is losing its exchange value significantly compared with the Indian currency, Rupee, so the Indian authorities will no longer accept US dollars from the tourists at major cultural sites in India like Taj Mahal.
The Ministry of Culture, Indian announced today that since the value of dollar has declined in value considerably in the last few months, it will accept from the tourists fixed local rupee rates rather than in dollars at major monuments across the country including the famed Taj Mahal.
The Ministry of Culture told Reuters, they want "to avoid any anomaly on account of falling exchange rates of US $ vis-à-vis Rupee and consequent fall in revenues".
Previously, the entrance to many sites in India were priced in dollars for the foreign tourists, so, the locals were converting them to Rupees in local banks. But after the decline in value, they were losing money. The dollars have slid more than 12 percent against the Rupees this year.
Before for World Heritage sites like the Taj Mahal, the entrance fee used to be $5 and $2 for other monuments, when the dollar value was equivalent to 50 Rupees, but now the dollar is worth only 39 Rupees. The new rates at Taj Mahal is fixed at 250 rupees from now on which will be equivalent to $6.50.
More than 4 million tourists visited India last year, bringing in around $6.6 billion in foreign exchange earnings.
The US government and the Congress should do something to stem the tide, if not controlled many countries will drop using dollars for business transactions. It will be difficult to regain back the lost value. This may be happening in Canada and Europe also?
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