From British daily The Independent:
The Taj Mahal may have been built as a testament to love but some hard-headed business decisions are now holding sway at India’s most famous monument. First among them is that the US dollar is no longer welcome.
With parts of the American economy in turmoil and the dollar rapidly losing its long-held position as the currency of choice, Indian authorities have calculated they are losing considerable sums of money by allowing foreign tourists to pay using greenbacks.
A statement by India’s Ministry for Tourism and Culture said the government had decided to act “in view of the international practices and also to avoid any anomaly on account of falling exchange rates of the US dollar vis-a-vis the rupee and the consequent fall in revenues”.
Until the change, foreign tourists visiting the Taj Mahal in Agra, south-west of Delhi, could enter by paying a fixed $5 (£2.45) fee – a price that was set when the dollar was worth around R50. But with the dollar having fallen by 12 per cent this year against the rupee and the current exchange rate closer to R39 to the dollar, the government has now fixed the entry price for foreigners at R250 – more than $6.