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It is impossible to think that the Reserve Bank can do all transactions in the foreign exchange on its own. Therefore the RBI delegates its powers to an authorised person under FEMA who deals in foreign exchange and securities. It is a broad topic that requires proper understanding hence this article aims to simplify the concept of authorised person under FEMA.
As per Section 2(c) of the Foreign Exchange Management Act 1999, authorised person means an authorised dealer, money changer, off shore banking unit or any other person who has been authorised under Section 10(1) of the FEMA to deal in foreign exchange and foreign securities.
The categorisation of authorised persons under FEMA is as follows:
|Authorised Dealer-I||Commercial banks, state co-operative banks, urban co-operative banks||All current & capital account transactions according to RBI directions|
|Authorised Dealer-II||Upgraded FFMCs, Cooperative banks, regional rural banks, others||Specified non-trade related current account transactions and activities permitted to FFMC|
|Authorised Dealer-III||Some selective Financial and other institutions||Transactions incidental to the foreign exchange|
|Full fledged money changers||Department of Post, Urban Co-operative Banks, Other FFMC||Purchase of foreign exchange & sale for private & business visits abroad.|
Authorised persons have the authorisation from the Reserve Bank of India to deal in foreign exchange. You can submit an application along with relevant documents to the RBI in order to become an authorised person. Even if you are approved as an authorised person, you do not have a free hand in foreign exchange. You will have to furnish documents of your transactions to the Reserve Bank as and when they are asked for as per the category of authorised person.
The FEMA 1999, states that RBI may authorise any person to be known as authorised person, on an application made to the RBI in this behalf, to deal in foreign exchange or foreign securities as an authorised dealer, money changer or off shore banking unit. Such authorisation shall be in writing, and such authorisation shall be revoked in case the RBI believes that it is in public interest to do so or where the authorised person has failed to comply with the conditions upon which the authorization was granted. However, a reasonable opportunity of being heard shall be provided before revoking such authorisation.
Authorised dealer-II can undertake the following transactions-
All the nationalised banks, leading non-nationalised banks as well as foreign banks are chosen as authorised dealers category I to deal in foreign exchange. They may deal in other transactions in foreign exchange such as bill of exchange, cheques, letters of credit, deposits etc. They can buy from the public in India TTs, MTs, drafts, bills etc., drawn in foreign currency against rupees.
Entities such as select financial institutions and others are included under this category of authorised persons under FEMA. The transactions that are incidental to foreign exchange are allowed to these entities by the RBI.
The final category of authorised persons includes entities such as Full Fledged Money Changers. These include urban cooperative banks, department of post and other full fledged money changers. As far as permissible activities under this category is concerned, such entities can buy foreign exchange securities for foreign business visits or for private purposes.
What are the powers of RBI in respect of authorised person under FEMA?
The RBI has the power to inspect an authorised person whereby it can verify the authenticity of a statement, information or particulars submitted to the Reserve Bank. The RBI can also obtain any information or particulars that the authorised person has failed to furnish on being asked to do so.
There are mainly four major categories of authorised persons under FEMA, namely- Authorised Dealer-I, Authorised Dealer-II, Authorised Dealer-III and FFMC. The Reserve Bank has the ultimate authority to authorise authorised persons under Foreign Exchange Management Act who will deal in foreign exchanges and foreign securities.
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