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In NEFT and RTGS systems, RBI introduced an FCRA-related Transaction Code

Published on February 19, 2023
Current context: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has introduced new transaction codes in National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) and Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) systems related to the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA) on February 16, 2023.
In NEFT and RTGS systems, RBI introduced an FCRA-related Transaction Code
  • The changes, which will be effective from March 15, 2023, mandate member banks to modify their core banking solutions to capture requisite details for foreign donations made through NEFT and RTGS to the FCRA account of the State Bank of India (SBI).
  • Originating banks must select two mandatory fields of NEFT/RTGS systems and pass on donor details relating to 'transaction without Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) details' and 'transaction without LEI details' as part of 'Sender to remitter information' in NEFT and RTGS.
  • As per the FCRA, foreign contributions must be received only in the FCRA account of SBI, and donor details must be captured in such transactions, including name, address, country of origin, amount, currency, and purpose of remittance, which are required to be reported to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) daily.
  • With the SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications) system, contributions to the FCRA account are received directly from overseas banks, while payments from Indian intermediary banks are made through the NEFT and RTGS systems.
  • In accordance with Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) regulations, SBI is obligated to record donor information in such transactions, including name, address, country of origin, amount, currency, and purpose of remittance. MHA must receive daily reports from SBI regarding this information.

Question:

Q.1 What did the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) introduce on February 16, 2023, in the National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) and Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) Systems related to the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA)?
a. New regulations related to the use of digital payments in India
b. Guidelines on the use of NEFT and RTGS systems for foreign investments in India
c. Transaction codes for capturing donor details for foreign donations to FCRA accounts at SBI
d. Instructions on reporting FCRA transactions to the Ministry of Home Affairs on a daily basis
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