RBI Notification

RBI Issues a Notification on Additional Current Accounts for Export Proceeds Settlement in INR

The recent notification by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), RBI/2023-2024/86, marks a significant shift in the dynamics of international trade settlement for India. This directive, addressed to all Scheduled Commercial Banks holding an AD Category-I license, builds upon previous circulars to enhance the operational flexibility and efficacy of trade settlements in Indian Rupees (INR). This article aims to dissect this notification, offering a thorough analysis tailored for a finance-savvy audience while maintaining a blend of formal and conversational tones.

Background and Context

The circular draws attention to A.P. (DIR Series) Circular No.10, dated July 11, 2022, which initially established a framework for invoicing, payment, and settlement of export and import transactions in INR. This framework involved the use of Special Rupee Vostro Accounts by partner trading countries, facilitating a more localized and potentially more stable mechanism for international trade settlements.

Key Provisions

  1. Opening of Additional Special Current Accounts: The latest RBI notification allows AD Category-I banks, which maintain Special Rupee Vostro Accounts, to open additional special current accounts. These are designated exclusively for settling the export transactions of their constituent exporters.
  2. Operational Flexibility: This move is primarily aimed at providing greater operational flexibility to exporters. By facilitating transactions through a dedicated account, it simplifies the process, potentially reducing transaction times and costs.

Implications for Exporters and Banks

  1. Streamlined Processes: Exporters stand to benefit from streamlined transaction processes, reducing bureaucratic hurdles and operational inefficiencies.
  2. Reduced Currency Risk: Settling trade in INR insulates both parties from the volatility associated with foreign currency exchanges, a significant consideration given the fluctuating global economic landscape.
  3. Enhanced Liquidity Management: For banks, this initiative could lead to better liquidity management, given the more predictable flow of INR.
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Global and Domestic Economic Impacts

  1. Strengthening the INR’s Position: This step could bolster the international standing of the INR, promoting its use in global trade settlements.
  2. Trade Partnerships: It may influence India’s trade dynamics, particularly with countries facing currency instability or those looking to diversify their trade settlement options.

Real-World Examples and Case Studies

  1. Russia-India Trade Post-U.S. Sanctions: A notable example is the increased INR-Ruble trade settlements post-U.S. sanctions on Russia. This arrangement has provided a model for circumventing traditional dollar-dominated trade systems.
  2. India-UAE Trade Corridor: The UAE, a key trade partner, could leverage this system to settle its substantial trade with India, thereby mitigating risks associated with currency fluctuations.

Forward-Looking Insights

Looking ahead, this policy could pave the way for a more INR-centric trade ecosystem. It might encourage other nations, especially those in the BRICS coalition, to consider similar arrangements, potentially challenging the hegemony of the U.S. dollar in global trade. However, the success of this initiative hinges on the willingness of other nations to embrace the INR for trade settlements and the ability of the Indian banking system to efficiently manage these processes.


The RBI’s move to facilitate international trade settlement in INR reflects a strategic shift towards enhancing India’s economic sovereignty and reducing dependency on foreign currencies. While this initiative presents operational and strategic advantages, its long-term success will depend on global economic dynamics, regulatory environments, and the adaptability of the Indian banking sector. As India continues to assert its position on the global stage, such policy maneuvers will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in shaping its trade relations and economic future.

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