Reserve Bank of India

A year before the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) was passed in Rajya Sabha, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had allowed non-Muslim minorities from Bangladesh residing in the country to open Non Resident Ordinary Accounts (NRO).

Apart from Bangladesh, the RBI had also allowed non-Muslim minorities from Pakistan to open NRO accounts way back in 2018.

As in the case of Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) 2019, only Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians are entitled to open an NRO account in India.

The RBI had introduced an amendment to the FEMA (Foreign Exchange Management) regulations on November 09, 2018, for opening an NRO account by those belonging to religious minorities from Bangladesh and Pakistan.

As per the new amended rule, ‘a person being a citizen of Bangladesh or Pakistan belonging to minority communities in those countries, namely Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians, who is residing in India and has been granted a Long Term Visa (LTV) by the Central Government is permitted to open with an authorized dealer only one NRO Account’.

‘The said NRO account shall be converted to a resident account once the person becomes a citizen of India within the meaning of the Citizenship Act, 1955,’ the notification added.

Moreover, after the amendment of the new rule, financial institutions were also asked to add a new column in know your customer’ (KYC) forms  where the religion of a minority from Bangladesh and Pakistan were asked to be given in case he/she wants to open an NRO account.

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