The Reserve Bank of India has exempted certain categories of accounts from the tighter rules it introduced earlier this year for opening such accounts, which don’t pay an interest and are used to park cash for the short term by businesses.

In August, the RBI had set new conditions for banks to open current accounts for large borrowers in order to strengthen credit discipline. Use of multiple operating accounts by borrowers—both current well as cash or overdraft accounts—has been observed to be prone to vitiating credit discipline, the regulator had said.

Among the key restrictions introduced, the regulator had said that for credit facilities between Rs 5-50 crore, any lender to the account can open a current account, while non-lending banks can only open a collection account. For credit facilities above Rs 50 crore, banks were mandated to create an escrow mechanism and only the escrow-managing lender or agent can open the current account for the borrower.

Following representations from some lenders lenders and even the industry, the regulator has laid down a list of categories that will be exempt from the new current account rules.

These categories include:

  • Accounts for real estate projects for the purpose of maintaining 70% of advance payments collected from the home buyers.
  • Nodal or escrow accounts of payment aggregators/prepaid payment instrument.
  • Accounts for settlement of dues related to debit card/ATM card/credit card issuers/acquirers.
  • Accounts for the purpose of IPO / NFO / FPO/ share buyback /dividend payment / issuance of commercial papers/allotment of debentures/gratuity.
  • Accounts for payment of taxes, duties, statutory dues, etc. opened with banks authorised to collect the same, for borrowers of such banks which are not authorised to collect such taxes, duties, statutory dues, etc.
  • Accounts of white label ATM operators and their agents for sourcing of currency.
  • Accounts permitted under FEMA 1999. This act deals with cross border investments, foreign exchange transactions and transactions between residents and non-residents.

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