Q 1. Who is an Authorized Dealer (AD)?
Ans. An Authorised Dealer (AD) is any person specifically authorized by the Reserve Bank under Section 10(1) of FEMA, 1999, to deal in foreign exchange or foreign securities (the list of ADs is available on www.rbi.org.in) and normally includes banks.
Q 2. Who are authorized by the Reserve Bank to sell foreign exchange for travel purposes?
Ans. Foreign exchange can be purchased from any authorised person, such as an AD Category-I bank and AD Category II. Full-Fledged Money Changers (FFMCs) are also permitted to release exchange for business and private visits.
Q 3. How much foreign currency can be carried in cash for travel abroad?
Ans. Travellers going to all countries other than (a) and (b) below are allowed to purchase foreign currency notes / coins only up to USD 3000 per visit. Balance amount can be carried in the form of store value cards, travellers cheque or banker’s draft. Exceptions to this are (a) travellers proceeding to Iraq and Libya who can draw foreign exchange in the form of foreign currency notes and coins not exceeding USD 5000 or its equivalent per visit; (b) travellers proceeding to the Islamic Republic of Iran, Russian Federation and other Republics of Commonwealth of Independent States who can draw entire foreign exchange (up-to USD 250,000) in the form of foreign currency notes or coins.
For travellers proceeding for Haj/ Umrah pilgrimage, full amount of entitlement (USD 250,000) in cash or up to the cash limit as specified by the Haj Committee of India, may be released by the ADs and FFMCs.
Q 4. How much Indian currency can be brought in while coming into India?
Ans. A resident of India, who has gone out of India on a temporary visit may bring into India at the time of his return from any place outside India (other than Nepal and Bhutan), currency notes of Government of India and Reserve Bank of India notes up to an amount not exceeding Rs.25,000. A person may bring into India from Nepal or Bhutan, currency notes of Government of India and Reserve Bank of India notes, in denomination not exceeding Rs.100. Any person resident outside India, not being a citizen of Pakistan and Bangladesh and also not a traveller coming from and going to Pakistan and Bangladesh, and visiting India may bring into India currency notes of Government of India and Reserve Bank of India notes up to an amount not exceeding Rs. 25,000 while entering only through an airport.
Any person resident in India who had gone to Pakistan and/or Bangladesh on a temporary visit, may bring into India at the time of his return, currency notes of Government of India and Reserve Bank of India notes up to an amount not exceeding Rs. 10,000 per person.
Q 5. How much foreign exchange can be brought in while visiting India?
Ans. A person coming into India from abroad can bring with him foreign exchange without any limit. However, if the aggregate value of the foreign exchange in the form of currency notes, bank notes or travellers cheques brought in exceeds USD 10,000 or its equivalent and/or the value of foreign currency alone exceeds USD 5,000 or its equivalent, it should be declared to the Customs Authorities at the Airport in the Currency Declaration Form (CDF), on arrival in India.
Q 6. Can one pay by cash full rupee equivalent of foreign exchange being purchased for travel abroad?
Ans. Foreign exchange for travel abroad can be purchased from an authorized person against rupee payment in cash below Rs.50,000/-. However, if the sale of foreign exchange is for the amount equivalent to Rs 50,000/- and above, the entire payment should be made by way of a crossed cheque/ banker’s cheque/ pay order/ demand draft/ debit card / credit card / prepaid card only.
Q 7. Is there any time-frame for a traveller who has returned to India to surrender foreign exchange?
Ans. On return from a foreign trip, travellers are required to surrender unspent foreign exchange held in the form of currency notes and travellers cheques within 180 days of return. However, they are free to retain foreign exchange up to USD 2,000, in the form of foreign currency notes or TCs for future use or credit to their Resident Foreign Currency (Domestic) [RFC (Domestic)] Accounts.
Q 8. Should foreign coins be surrendered to an Authorised Dealer on return from abroad?
Ans. The residents can hold foreign coins without any limit.
Q 9. Is there any category of visit which requires prior approval from the Reserve Bank or the Government of India?
Ans. Dance troupes, artistes, etc., who wish to undertake cultural tours abroad, should obtain prior approval from the Ministry of Human Resources Development (Department of Education and Culture), Government of India, New Delhi.
Q 10. Whether permission is required for receiving grant/donation from abroad under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 1976?
Ans. The Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 1976 is administered and monitored by the Ministry of Home Affairs whose address is given below:
Foreigners Division, Jaisalmer House, 26, Mansingh Road, New Delhi-110011
No specific approval from the Reserve Bank is required in this regard
Q 11. Who is permitted to hold International Credit Card (ICC) and International Debit Card (IDC) for undertaking foreign exchange transactions?
Ans. Banks authorised to deal in foreign exchange are permitted to issue International Debit Cards (IDCs) which can be used by a resident individual for drawing cash or making payment to a merchant establishment overseas during his visit abroad. IDCs can be used only for permissible current account transactions and the usage of IDCs shall be within the LRS limit.
AD banks can also issue Store Value Card/Charge Card/Smart Card to residents traveling on private/business visit abroad which can be used for making payments at overseas merchant establishments and also for drawing cash from ATM terminals. No prior permission from Reserve Bank is required for issue of such cards. However, the use of such cards is limited to permissible current account transactions and subject to the LRS limit.
Resident individuals maintaining a foreign currency account with an Authorised Dealer in India or a bank abroad, as permissible under extant Foreign Exchange Regulations, are free to obtain International Credit Cards (ICCs) issued by overseas banks and other reputed agencies. The charges incurred against the card either in India or abroad, can be met out of funds held in such foreign currency account/s of the card holder or through remittances, if any, from India only through a bank where the card-holder has a current or savings account. The remittance for this purpose, should also be made directly to the card-issuing agency abroad, and not to a third party. It is also clarified that the applicable credit limit will be the limit fixed by the card issuing banks. There is no monetary ceiling fixed by the RBI for remittances, if any, under this facility. The LRS limit shall not apply to the use of ICC for making payment by a person towards meeting expenses while such person is on a visit outside India.
Use of ICCs/ IDCs can be made for travel abroad in connection with various purposes and for making personal payments like subscription to foreign journals, internet subscription, etc. However, use of ICCs/IDCs is NOT permitted for prohibited transactions indicated in Schedule 1 of FEM (CAT) Amendment Rules 2015 such as purchase of lottery tickets, banned magazines etc.
Use of these instruments for payment in foreign exchange in Nepal and Bhutan is not permitted.
Q 12. How much jewellery can be carried while going abroad?
Ans. Taking personal jewellery out of India is as per the Baggage Rules, governed and administered by Customs Department, Government of India. While no approval of the Reserve Bank is required in this case, approvals, if any, required from Customs Authorities may be obtained.
Q 13. Can a resident extend local hospitality to a non-resident?
Ans. A person resident in India is free to make any payment in Indian Rupees towards meeting expenses, on account of boarding, lodging and services related thereto or travel to and from and within India, of a person resident outside India, who is on a visit to India.
Q 14. Can residents purchase air tickets in India for their travel not touching India?
Ans. Residents may book their tickets in India for their visit to any third country. For instance, residents can book their tickets for travel from London to New York, through domestic/foreign airlines in India. However, the same (air tickets) would be a part of the traveller’s overall LRS entitlement of USD 250,000.
Q 15. Is meeting of medical expenses of a NRI close relative, in India, by Resident Individuals permitted?
Ans. Where the medical expenses in respect of NRI close relative [‘relative’ as defined in Section 2(77) of the Companies Act, 2013) are paid by a resident individual, such a payment being in the nature of a resident to resident transaction may be covered under the term “services related thereto” under Regulation 6(2) of Notification No. FEMA 14(R)/2016-RB dated May 2, 2016.
Q 16. Can a person resident in India hold assets outside India?
Ans. In terms of sub-section 4, of Section (6) of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999, a person resident in India is free to hold, own, transfer or invest in foreign currency, foreign security or any immovable property situated outside India if such currency, security or property was acquired, held or owned by such person when he was resident outside India or inherited from a person who was resident outside India.
Further, a resident individual can also acquire property and other assets overseas under LRS.
Q 1. What is the Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS) of USD 2,50,000 ?
Ans. Under the Liberalised Remittance Scheme, all resident individuals, including minors, are allowed to freely remit up to USD 2,50,000 per financial year (April – March) for any permissible current or capital account transaction or a combination of both. Further, resident individuals can avail of foreign exchange facility for the purposes mentioned in Para 1 of Schedule III of FEM (CAT) Amendment Rules 2015, dated May 26, 2015, within the limit of USD 2,50,000 only.
The Scheme was introduced on February 4, 2004, with a limit of USD 25,000. The LRS limit has been revised in stages consistent with prevailing macro and micro economic conditions.
In case of remitter being a minor, the LRS declaration form must be countersigned by the minor’s natural guardian. The Scheme is not available to corporates, partnership firms, HUF, Trusts etc.
Q 2. What are the prohibited items under the Scheme?
Ans. The remittance facility under the Scheme is not available for the following:
- Remittance for any purpose specifically prohibited under Schedule-I (like purchase of lottery tickets/sweep stakes, proscribed magazines, etc.) or any item restricted under Schedule II of Foreign Exchange Management (Current Account Transactions) Rules, 2000.
- Remittance from India for margins or margin calls to overseas exchanges / overseas counterparty.
- Remittances for purchase of FCCBs issued by Indian companies in the overseas secondary market.
- Remittance for trading in foreign exchange abroad.
- Capital account remittances, directly or indirectly, to countries identified by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) as “non- cooperative countries and territories”, from time to time.
- Remittances directly or indirectly to those individuals and entities identified as posing significant risk of committing acts of terrorism as advised separately by the Reserve Bank to the banks.
Q 3. What are the purposes under FEM (CAT) Amendment Rules, 2015, under which a resident individual can avail of foreign exchange facility?
Ans. Individuals can avail of foreign exchange facility for the following purposes within the LRS limit of USD 2,50,000 on financial year basis:
- Private visits to any country (except Nepal and Bhutan)
- Gift or donation
- Going abroad for employment
- Maintenance of close relatives abroad
- Travel for business, or attending a conference or specialised training or for meeting expenses for meeting medical expenses, or check-up abroad, or for accompanying as attendant to a patient going abroad for medical treatment/ check-up
- Expenses in connection with medical treatment abroad
- Studies abroad
- Any other current account transaction which is not covered under the definition of current account in FEMA 1999.
The AD bank may undertake the remittance transaction without RBI’s permission for all residual current account transactions which are not prohibited/ restricted transactions under Schedule I, II or III of FEM (CAT) Rules, 2000, as amended or are defined in FEMA 1999. It is for the AD to satisfy themselves about the genuineness of the transaction, as hitherto.
Q 4. Under LRS are resident individuals required to repatriate the accrued interest/dividend on deposits/investments abroad, over and above the principal amount?
Ans. No, the investor can retain and reinvest the income earned from portfolio investments made under the Scheme.
However, a resident individual who has made overseas direct investment in the equity shares and compulsorily convertible preference shares of a Joint Venture or Wholly Owned Subsidiary outside India, within the LRS limit, then he/she shall have to comply with the terms and conditions as prescribed under [Foreign Exchange Management (Transfer or Issue of any Foreign Security) Regulations 2004 as amended from time to time] Notification No. 263/ RB-2013 dated August 5, 2013.
Q 5. Can remittances under the LRS facility be consolidated in respect of family members?
Ans. Remittances under the facility can be consolidated in respect of close family members subject to the individual family members complying with the terms and conditions of the Scheme. However, clubbing is not permitted by other family members for capital account transactions such as opening a bank account/investment/purchase of property, if they are not the co-owners/co-partners of the investment/property/overseas bank account. Further, a resident cannot gift to another resident, in foreign currency, for the credit of the latter’s foreign currency account held abroad under LRS.
Q 6. Is the AD required to check permissibility of remittances based on nature of transaction or allow the same based on remitters declaration?
Ans. AD will be guided by the nature of transaction as declared by the remitter in Form A2 and will thereafter certify that the remittance is in conformity with the instructions issued by the Reserve Bank in this regard from time to time. However, the ultimate responsibility is of the remitter to ensure compliance to the extant FEMA rules/regulations.
Q 7. Is it mandatory for resident individuals to have Permanent Account Number (PAN) for sending outward remittances under the Scheme?
Ans. Yes It is mandatory for the resident individual to provide his/her Permanent Account Number (PAN) for all transactions under LRS made through Authorized Persons.
Q 8. Are there any restrictions on the frequency of the remittance?
Ans. There are no restrictions on the frequency of remittances under LRS. However, the total amount of foreign exchange purchased from or remitted through, all sources in India during a financial year should be within the cumulative limit of USD 2,50,000.
Once a remittance is made for an amount up to USD 2,50,000 during the financial year, a resident individual would not be eligible to make any further remittances under this scheme, even if the proceeds of the investments have been brought back into the country.
Q 9. Resident individuals (but not permanently resident in India) can remit up to net salary after deduction of taxes. However, if he has exhausted the limit of USD 2,50,000 as net salary remittance and desires to remit any other income under LRS is it permissible as the limit will be over and above USD 2,50,000?
Ans. Resident individuals (but not permanently resident in India) who have remitted their entire earnings and salary and wish to further remit ‘other income’ may approach RBI with documents through their AD bank for consideration.
Q 10. Para 5.4 of AP DIR Circular 106 dated June 01, 2015 states that the applicants should have maintained the bank account with the bank for a minimum period of one year prior to the remittance for capital account transactions. Whether this restriction applies to current account transactions?
Ans. No. The rationale is that remittance facility is up to the LRS limit of USD 250, 000 for current account transactions under Schedule III of FEM (CAT) Amendment Rules, 2015, such as for private and business visits which can also be provided by FFMCs. As FFMCs cannot maintain accounts of remitters the proviso (as mentioned in para 5.4 of the circular ibid) has been confined to capital account transactions. However, FFMCs, are required to ensure that the “Know Your Customer” guidelines and the Anti-Money Laundering Rules in force have been complied with while allowing the current account transactions.
Q 11. Are there any restrictions towards remittances to Mauritius and Pakistan for permissible current account transactions?
Ans. No, there are no restrictions towards remittances for current account transactions to Mauritius and Pakistan.
Remittances directly or indirectly to countries identified by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) as “non- cooperative countries and territories”, from time to time; and remittances directly or indirectly to those individuals and entities identified as posing significant risk of committing acts of terrorism as advised separately by the Reserve Bank to the banks are not permissible.
Q 12. What are the requirements to be complied with by the remitter?
Ans. The individual will have to designate a branch of an AD through which all the capital account remittances under the Scheme will be made. The applicants should have maintained the bank account with the bank for a minimum period of one year prior to the remittance.
For remittances pertaining to permissible current account transactions, if the applicant seeking to make the remittance is a new customer of the bank, Authorised Dealers should carry out due diligence on the opening, operation and maintenance of the account. Further, the AD should obtain bank statement for the previous year from the applicant to satisfy themselves regarding the source of funds. If such a bank statement is not available, copies of the latest Income Tax Assessment Order or Return filed by the applicant may be obtained. He has to furnish Form A-2 regarding the purpose of the remittance and declare that the funds belong to him and will not be used for purposes prohibited or regulated under the Scheme.
Q 13. Can remittances be made only in US Dollars?
Ans. The remittances can be made in any freely convertible foreign currency.
Q 14. Are intermediaries expected to seek specific approval for making overseas investments available to clients?
Ans. Banks including those not having operational presence in India are required to obtain prior approval from Reserve Bank for soliciting deposits for their foreign/overseas branches or for acting as agents for overseas mutual funds or any other foreign financial services company.
Q 15. Are there any restrictions on the kind/quality of debt or equity instruments an individual can invest in?
Ans. No ratings or guidelines have been prescribed under LRS of USD 2,50,000 on the quality of the investment an individual can make. However, the individual investor is expected to exercise due diligence while taking a decision regarding the investments which he or she proposes to make.
Q 16. Whether credit facilities (fund or non-fund based) in Indian Rupees or foreign currency can be extended by AD banks to resident individuals?
Ans. LRS does not envisage extension of fund and non-fund based facilities by the AD banks to their resident individual customers to facilitate remittances for capital account transactions under LRS.
However, AD banks may extend fund and non-fund based facilities to resident individuals to facilitate current account remittances under the Scheme.
Q 17. Can bankers open foreign currency accounts in India for residents under LRS?
Q 18. Can an Offshore Banking Unit (OBU) in India be treated on par with a branch of the bank outside India for the purpose of opening of foreign currency accounts by residents under the Scheme?
Q 19. What are the documents required for withdrawal/remittance of foreign exchange for purposes mentioned in para 1 of Schedule III to FEM (CAT) Amendment Rules, 2015?
Ans. Permanent Account Number (PAN) is mandatory for all transactions under LRS.
Q 20. Whether documents viz 15 CA, 15 CB have to be taken in all outward remittance cases including remittances for maintenance etc.?
Ans. In terms of A. P. (DIR Series) circular No. 151 dated June 30, 2014, Reserve Bank of India will not issue any instructions under the FEMA, regarding the procedure to be followed in respect of deduction of tax at source while allowing remittances to the non-residents. It shall be mandatory on the part of ADs to comply with the requirement of the tax laws, as applicable.
Q 21. Will the expenses incurred by an LLP to sponsor the education expense of its partners who are pursuing higher studies for the benefit of the LLP will be outside the LRS limit of such individuals (partners)?
Ans. LLP is a body corporate and has a legal entity separate from its partners. Therefore, if the LLP incurs/sponsors the education expense of its partners who are pursuing higher studies for the benefit of the LLP, then the same shall be outside the LRS limit of the individual partners and would instead be deemed as residual current account transaction undertaken by the LLP without any limits.
Q 22. Clarification on remittance by sole proprietor under LRS.
Ans. In a sole proprietorship business, there is no legal distinction between the individual / owner and as such the owner of the business can remit USD up to the permissible limit under LRS. If a sole proprietorship firm intends to remit the money under LRS by debiting its current account then the eligibility of the proprietor in his individual capacity has to be reckoned. Hence, if an individual in his own capacity remits USD 250,000 in a financial year under LRS, he cannot remit another USD 250,000 in the capacity of owner of the sole proprietorship business as there is no legal distinction.
Q 23. Whether prior approval is required to open, maintain and hold foreign currency account with a bank outside India for making remittances under the LRS?
Q 24. What are the facilities under Schedule III of FEM (CAT) Amendment Rules, 2015 available for persons other than individual?
Ans. The following facilities are available to persons other than individuals:
- Donations up-to one per cent of their foreign exchange earnings during the previous three financial years or USD 5,000,000, whichever is less, for- (a) creation of Chairs in reputed educational institutes, (b) contribution to funds (not being an investment fund) promoted by educational institutes; and (c) contribution to a technical institution or body or association in the field of activity of the donor Company.
- Commission, per transaction, to agents abroad for sale of residential flats or commercial plots in India up to USD 25,000 or five percent of the inward remittance whichever is less.
- Remittances up to USD 10,000,000 per project for any consultancy services in respect of infrastructure projects and USD 1,000,000 per project, for other consultancy services procured from outside India.
- Remittances up to five per cent of investment brought into India or USD 100,000 whichever is less, by an entity in India by way of reimbursement of pre-incorporation expenses.
- Remittances up to USD 250,000 per financial year for purposes stipulated under Para 1 of Schedule III to FEM (CAT) Amendment Rules, 2015. However, all residual current account transactions undertaken by such entities are otherwise permissible without any specified limit and are to be disposed off at the level of AD, as hitherto. It is for the AD to satisfy themselves about the genuineness of the transaction.
Anything in excess of above limits requires prior approval of the Reserve Bank of India.
Q 25. Can a resident individual make a rupee loan to a NRI/PIO who is a close relative of resident individual, by of crossed cheque/ electronic transfer?
Ans. A resident individual is permitted to make a rupee loan to a NRI/PIO who is a close relative of the resident individual (‘relative’ as defined in Section 2(77) of the Companies Act, 2013) by way of crossed cheque/ electronic transfer subject to the following conditions:
(i) The loan is free of interest and the minimum maturity of the loan is one year.
(ii) The loan amount should be within the overall LRS limit of USD 2,50,000, per financial year, available to the resident individual. It would be the responsibility of the lender to ensure that the amount of loan is within the LRS limit of USD 2,50,000 during the financial year.
(iii) The loan shall be utilised for meeting the borrower’s personal requirements or for his own business purposes in India.
(iv) The loan shall not be utilised, either singly or in association with other person, for any of the activities in which investment by persons resident outside India is prohibited, namely;
- the business of chit fund, or
- Nidhi Company, or
- agricultural or plantation activities or in real estate business, or construction of farmhouses, or
- trading in Transferable Development Rights (TDRs).
Explanation: For the purpose of item (c) above, real estate business shall not include development of townships, construction of residential / commercial premises, roads or bridges.
(v) The loan amount should be credited to the NRO a/c of the NRI /PIO. Credit of such loan amount may be treated as an eligible credit to NRO a/c.
(vi) The loan amount shall not be remitted outside India.
(vii) Repayment of loan shall be made by way of inward remittances through normal banking channels or by debit to the Non-resident Ordinary (NRO)/ Non-resident External (NRE) / Foreign Currency Non-resident (FCNR) account of the borrower or out of the sale proceeds of the shares or securities or immovable property against which such loan was granted.
Q 26. Can a resident individual make a rupee gift to a NRI/PIO who is a close relative of resident individual, by of crossed cheque/ electronic transfer?
Ans. A resident individual can make a rupee gift to a NRI/PIO who is a close relative of the resident individual [relative’ as defined in Section 2(77) of the Companies Act, 2013] by way of crossed cheque /electronic transfer. The amount should be credited to the Non-Resident (Ordinary) Rupee Account (NRO) a/c of the NRI / PIO and credit of such gift amount may be treated as an eligible credit to NRO a/c. The gift amount would be within the overall limit of USD 250,000 per financial year as permitted under the LRS for a resident individual. It would be the responsibility of the resident donor to ensure that the gift amount being remitted is under the LRS and all the remittances made by the donor during the financial year including the gift amount have not exceeded the limit prescribed under the LRS.
Q1. What is meant by Remittance of Assets?
Answer: ‘Remittance of assets’ means remittance outside India of funds representing
a deposit with a bank or a firm or a company of:
- provident fund balance
- superannuation benefits
- amount of claim or maturity proceeds of Insurance policy
- sale proceeds of shares, securities, immovable property or any other asset held in India
Q2. What are the assets out of/ from which funds may be remitted and by whom?
|A foreign national of non-Indian origin (other than Nepal/ Bhutan/ PIO)||An NRI/ PIO||Indian entity||A branch or office established in India by a person resident outside India|
|1. The person has retired from employment in India.
2. Inherited assets from a person referred to in Sec 6(5) of FEMA
3. The person is a non-resident widow/ widower and has inherited assets from her/ his deceased spouse who was an Indian national resident in India.
May remit up to USD 1 Million in a financial year
|1. From the balances of NRO account – subject to declaration*
2. Sale proceeds of assets
3. Assets acquired from legacy/ inheritance/ deed of settlement
May remit up to USD 1 Million in a financial year
*Where the remittance is to be made from the balances held in the NRO account, the Authorised Dealer should obtain an undertaking from the account holder stating that “the said remittance is sought to be made out of the remitter’s balances held in the account arising from his/ her legitimate receivables in India and not by borrowing from any other person or a transfer from any other NRO account and if such is found to be the case, the account holder will render himself/ herself liable for penal action under FEMA.”
|Its contribution towards PF/ superannuation fund/ pension for expatriate employee who are resident but not permanently resident.||Remit its winding up proceeds after submission of requisite documents|
Q.3 Who is a Resident?
Ans. Resident as defined in Sec 2(v) of FEMA, 1999. Further, the onus is on the individual to prove his/ her residential status, if questioned by any authority.
Q.4 What is meant by ‘not permanently resident’?
Ans. Not permanently resident means a person resident in India for employment of a specified duration (irrespective of length) or for a specific job duration which does not exceed three years.
Q5. Which are the cases related to Remittance of Assets for which prior approval of RBI is to be sought for effecting the remittance?
Answer: RBI approval is required if:
(i) Remittance is in excess of USD 1,000,000 (US Dollar One million only) per financial year:
- on account of legacy, bequest or inheritance to a citizen of foreign state, resident outside India; and
- by NRIs/ PIOs out of the balances held in NRO accounts/ sale proceeds of assets/ the assets acquired by way of inheritance/ legacy.
(ii) Hardship will be caused to a person if remittance from India is not made to such a person.
Q6. What are the Tax implications in respect of remittance of assets?
Ans. All remittances are subject to payment of taxes as applicable in India – Authorised Dealers are to convince themselves on this aspect.
Rupee Drawing Arrangement (RDA)
1. What is Rupee Drawing Arrangement (RDA)?
Rupee Drawing Arrangement (RDA) is a channel to receive cross-border remittances from overseas jurisdictions. Under this arrangement, the Authorised Category I banks enter into tie-ups with the non-resident Exchange Houses in the FATF compliant countries to open and maintain their Vostro Account.
2. Who are non-resident Exchange Houses?
These are companies and financial institutions which are licenced and regulated by the competent authority in the sending country for sourcing the funds from the remitters.
3. What are the permissions needed for entering into such arrangements?
Only for the first arrangement which the AD Category–I bank enters into with the non–resident Exchange Houses for RDA requires RBI permission. Subsequently, AD Category- I banks may enter into RDAs, subject to the prescribed guidelines and inform the Reserve Bank (immediately).
4. What are the types of remittances which can be sent under RDA?
The cross- border inward remittances into India under RDA is primarily on private account. The remitter and the beneficiary should be individuals barring a few exceptions. Remittances through Exchange Houses for financing of trade transactions are also permitted up to certain limit. This scheme is not used for cross-border outward remittances from India.
5. Is there any limit on the amount of money which can be sent under RDA?
There is no limit on the remittance amount as well as on the number of remittances. However, there is an upper cap of Rs.15.00 lakh for trade related transactions.
6. Can cash payment be made to the beneficiary under RDA?
No cash disbursement of remittances is allowed under RDA. The remittances have to be credited to the bank account of the beneficiary.
7. Can the remittance be credited to the bank account of the beneficiary even if the bank does not have any tie-up with a non-resident Exchange House?
Yes, foreign inward remittances received by the AD Category-I Bank having RDA with a Non Resident Exchange House may be credited directly to the account of the beneficiary held with a bank other than the AD Category-I Bank through electronic mode, such as, NEFT, IMPS, etc.
Money Transfer Service Scheme (MTSS)
8. What is Money Transfer Service Scheme (MTSS)?
Money Transfer Service Scheme (MTSS) is a way of transferring personal remittances from abroad to beneficiaries in India. Only inward personal remittances into India such as remittances towards family maintenance and remittances favouring foreign tourists visiting India are permissible. Under the scheme there is a tie-up between reputed money transfer companies abroad known as Overseas Principals and agents in India known as Indian Agents who would disburse funds to beneficiaries in India at ongoing exchange rates.
9. Who is an Overseas Principal?
The Overseas Principal should be a registered entity, licenced by the Central Bank / Government or financial regulatory authority of the country concerned for carrying on Money Transfer Activities. The country of registration of the Overseas Principal should be AML compliant. The Overseas Principal should obtain necessary authorisation from the Department of Payment and Settlement Systems, Reserve Bank of India under the provisions of the Payment and Settlement Systems Act (PSS Act), 2007 to commence/ operate a payment system.
10. Who is an Indian Agent?
To become an Indian Agent, the applicant should be an Authorised Dealer Category-I bank or an Authorised Dealer Category-II or a Full Fledged Money Changer (FFMC) or the Department of Posts. Further, the Indian agents can also appoint sub-agents which can be retail outlets, commercial entities having a place of business, and whose bonafides are acceptable to the Indian Agent.
11. What are the permissions needed for carrying out MTSS?
Indian Agents need permission from the Regional Office concerned of the Foreign Exchange Department, Reserve Bank of India to operate under the MTSS framework. Further, the Overseas Principal also need to obtain necessary authorisation from the Department of Payment and Settlement Systems, Reserve Bank of India under the provisions of the Payment and Settlement Systems Act (PSS Act), 2007.
12. What are the types of remittances which can be received under the MTSS?
Only cross-border personal remittances, such as, remittances towards family maintenance and remittances favouring foreign tourists visiting India are allowed under this arrangement. Donations/contributions to charitable institutions/trusts, trade related remittances, remittance towards purchase of property, investments or credit to NRE Accounts are not allowed through this arrangement.
13. Is there any limit on the amount of money which can be sent under MTSS?
A cap of USD 2,500 has been placed on individual remittances under the scheme. In addition, thirty remittances can be received by a single individual beneficiary under the scheme during a calendar year.
14. Can cash payment be made to the beneficiary under MTSS?
Amounts up to INR 50,000/- may be paid in cash to a beneficiary in India. These can also be loaded on to a pre-paid card issued by banks. Any amount exceeding this limit shall be paid by means of account payee cheque/ demand draft/ payment order, etc., or credited directly to the beneficiary’s bank account. However, in exceptional circumstances, where the beneficiary is a foreign tourist, higher amounts may be disbursed in cash.