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Boosting the Rupee: RBI's New Policies for NRIs

RBI's policies enhance rupee's global presence, simplify NRI investments and finances
4
min read
June 4, 2024

In the Central Bank’s Annual Report for 2023-2024, the RBI officials stated that The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has introduced several measures to enhance the global presence of the Indian rupee. These changes aim to facilitate international trade, investment, and economic stability by making the rupee more accessible and widely used.   

What’s New for NRIs: Rupee Accounts for Non-Residents

The RBI has introduced a pivotal change by allowing non-residents to open rupee accounts outside India

This strategic move is part of the RBI’s broader plan to internationalise the Indian currency. Non-residents can now hold and transact in rupees, which simplifies cross-border investments and trade.

By holding rupee accounts, non-residents can avoid frequent currency exchanges, thereby saving on conversion fees. Easier access to rupee accounts encourages more foreign direct investment (FDI) and portfolio investments in India, making it more attractive for NRIs to invest back home​. 

Liberalising Investment Norms

To attract more foreign investments, the RBI has simplified norms for non-resident investors. This includes easing the process for investing in Indian financial markets, which can lead to increased capital inflow and economic growth. 

The liberalisation of the External Commercial Borrowing (ECB) framework and the introduction of the SPECTRA platform for trade credits and ECB reporting are significant steps in this direction​.

The RBI also aims to reduce dependency on foreign currencies by promoting the use of the rupee for trade settlements. This move can lower transaction costs for businesses and provide more stability to the Indian economy. It aligns with the goal of facilitating bilateral trade in local currencies, enhancing India's trade relationships globally. 

Why These Changes? 

Reducing Foreign Currency Dependency

A major objective of the RBI’s initiatives is to decrease India's reliance on foreign currencies. This can protect the Indian economy from global currency fluctuations and make it more resilient to external shocks. The RBI’s focus on synchronising the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) with the evolving macroeconomic environment is a crucial part of this strategy. 

Enhancing the Role of GIFT City

GIFT City, India’s international financial services center, plays a crucial role in these reforms. By leveraging GIFT City’s infrastructure, the RBI aims to facilitate smoother and more efficient international financial transactions in rupees, further boosting the global use of the currency​. 

Bolstering Indians to Spend with Freedom 

At the same time, the Indian government has forged agreements with seven countries to implement the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), enabling Indian citizens to conduct transactions in their local currencies.

Conclusion

The RBI’s recent measures are set to significantly enhance the internationalisation of the Indian rupee. By allowing non-residents to open rupee accounts, liberalising investment norms, and encouraging trade settlements in rupees, the RBI aims to create a more stable and robust economic environment. These changes offer substantial benefits to NRIs, providing them with more investment opportunities and simplifying their financial transactions. As these policies take effect, NRIs can look forward to a more integrated and accessible Indian financial market.

Rupali enjoys writing about everything related to money (in India and around the world). A MICA graduate in Communications, she has over seven years of experience in content creation and communication strategy for various user touchpoints, from CRM to UX for apps and websites, especially in fintech and healthcare. Outside of work, you'll find her binging on true crime documentaries or cooking up a storm.

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