RBI Approves Rupee Accounts Abroad: A Step Towards Currency Internationalisation  and Streamlines Norms for Non-Residents

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RBI Approves Rupee Accounts Abroad: A Step Towards Currency Internationalisation  and Streamlines Norms for Non-Residents
31 May 2024
4 min read

News Synopsis

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has unveiled a strategic plan aimed at promoting the internationalization of the rupee. This plan, outlined in the RBI's annual report for 2023-2024, includes several key initiatives designed to make the rupee a more widely used currency in global transactions.

A Multi-Pronged Approach to Boost the Rupee's Global Standing

The RBI's plan encompasses several key areas:

  • Rupee Accounts Outside India: For the first time, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will allow individuals residing outside India (PROIs) to open rupee (INR) accounts in foreign banks. This move is expected to facilitate trade settlements and investments denominated in rupees.

  • INR Lending and Investment Opportunities: The plan proposes enabling Indian banks to provide rupee loans to PROIs. Additionally, it explores facilitating foreign direct investment (FDI) and portfolio investments through special rupee accounts like Special Non-Resident Rupee (SNRR) and Special Rupee Vostro Account (SRVA).

  • Streamlining Regulations: The RBI emphasizes a focus on rationalizing existing regulations, including the Liberalised Remittance Scheme (LRS) and the regulations governing International Financial Service Centres (IFSCs) under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA). This streamlining aims to create a more conducive environment for international financial transactions involving the rupee.

  • Bilateral Trade Settlements: The RBI's report highlights the importance of internationalizing the rupee to enable bilateral trade settlements in local currencies. This would potentially reduce reliance on major foreign currencies like the US dollar.

These initiatives collectively aim to enhance the global use of the rupee, potentially boosting international trade and investment opportunities for India.

RBI Reports Strong Financial Performance

The RBI's annual report also showcases impressive financial results for the fiscal year 2024 (FY24). The central bank witnessed a significant surge in net income, driven primarily by a decline in expenditures, particularly lower provisions.

  • Net Income Soars: The RBI's net income for FY24 witnessed a remarkable 141% increase compared to the previous year. This impressive growth is attributed mainly to a significant rise in net interest income, which reached ₹2.1 trillion by the end of March 2024.

  • Record Dividend Payout: The substantial increase in net income allowed the RBI to declare a record dividend payout of ₹2.1 trillion to the government for FY24. This figure surpassed both the government's budget estimate and analysts' expectations, exceeding the previous year's dividend by a substantial 141%.

The RBI's strong financial performance underscores its commitment to maintaining financial stability while pursuing strategic initiatives like the internationalization of the rupee.

Synchronization with Monetary Policy

The RBI affirmed that its liquidity operations will continue to align with the stance of the monetary policy, while its foreign exchange operations will aim to ensure orderly movements in the exchange rate of the rupee.

Key highlights of the news

The RBI's plan encompasses opening rupee accounts outside India, enabling INR lending and investments, and streamlining regulations.

The initiatives aim to enhance the global use of the rupee and promote bilateral trade settlements in local currencies.

The RBI reported a significant increase in net income for FY24, allowing for a record-breaking dividend payout to the government.

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