KYC form
Representative photo. Image credit - entrackr.com

The Indian banks may add a new column in its ‘Know Your Customer’ (KYC) form where the customers or the depositors are likely to be asked to mention their religion.

According to media reports, this need was felt after the recent changes in the Foreign Exchange Management (Manner of Receipt and Payment) (Amendment) Regulations, 2019.

Changes in the rules have been made to allow some selected religious minorities, except atheists and Muslims, to open Non-Resident Ordinary (NRO) accounts and purchase a property.

This requirement has arisen in the wake of permission granted to immigrants belonging to six minority communities, who came to India from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014, for opening a bank account or purchasing properties in India.

This facility is not made those people who have come from neighbouring countries such as Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Tibet.

It has been reported that as the benefits are limited for selective religious communities, the Indian banks are likely to introduce a new column in KYC forms for their depositors and clients to mention their religion.

The FEMA (Acquisition and Transfer of Immovable Property in India) Regulations, says: “A person being a citizen of Bangladesh, Pakistan or Afghanistan belonging to minority communities in those countries — Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians and granted an LTV, may purchase only one residential immovable property in India as dwelling unit for self-occupation and only one immovable property for carrying out self-employment.”

An amendment also read: “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.”

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