RBI panel for hassle-free remittance, investment

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI)-appointed panel suggested significant liberalisation of forex regulation to allow hassle-free remittances and overseas investments. “To enable hassle-free remittances by resident individuals, banks may be advised by the RBI not to insist on the submission of form 15 CA/15 CB for any remittances under the Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS),” the report of the panel headed by former RBI Deputy Governor KJ Udeshi said.

The report of the Committee to Review the Facilities for Individuals under Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), 1999 said over a period of time, the FEMA rules now contain contradictory provisions and there is also a need to make definitions uniform and consistent across FEMA.

The committee is of the considered view that the procedural ‘knots’ in the system need to be untied to enable the present forex liberalisation to be effective and in the absence of untying of these knots, any further forex liberalisation will not be meaningful.

The report also noted that instead of an erstwhile single regulator (the RBI), we now have a multitude of regulators, each interpreting FEMA in his own way.
General permission, it said, may be granted to resident individuals to acquire shares of a foreign company in part or full consideration of professional services rendered to the foreign company or in lieu of Director’s remuneration.
Besides, it suggested, general permission may be granted to resident individuals to acquire qualification shares of an overseas company for holding the post of a director without the existing limitations.

It is to be noted that the committee was set up, following the announcement in Annual Monetary Policy for 2011-12 in May. “Recognising the need for facilitating genuine foreign exchange transactions by individuals – Residents/Non-resident Indians (NRIs) and Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) – under the current regulatory framework of FEMA, Reserve Bank has constituted a Committee under the Chairmanship of KJ Udeshi,” RBI Governor D Subbarao had said in the Annual Monetary Policy for 2011-12.

The objective of the review was to identify areas for streamlining and simplifying the procedure so as to remove the operational impediments and assess the level of efficiency in the functioning of authorised persons, including the infrastructure created by them.

Among other recommendations, Indian resident employees or directors may be permitted to accept shares offered through an ESOP Scheme globally.
It also suggested that the Portfolio Investment Scheme needs to be reviewed in its entirety and there is no need for continuation of the existing scheme.

Source:-Business Standard

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