The Central Government of India formulated an act to encourage external payments and across the border trades in India known as the Foreign Exchange Management Act. FEMA (Foreign Exchange Management Act) was introduced in the year 1999 to replace an earlier act FERA (Foreign Exchange Regulation Act). FEMA was formulated to fill all the loopholes and drawback of FERA (Foreign Exchange Regulation Act) and hence several economic reforms (major reforms) were introduced under the FEMA act. FEMA was basically introduced to de-regularize and have a liberal economy in India.
The main objective for which FEMA was introduced in India was to facilitate external trade and payments. In addition to this, FEMA was also formulated to assist orderly development and maintenance of the Indian forex market.
FEMA outlines the formalities and procedures for the dealings of all foreign exchange transactions in India. These foreign exchange transactions have been classified into two categories — Capital Account Transactions and Current Account Transactions.
Under the FEMA Act, the balance of payment is the record of dealings between the citizen of different countries in goods, services and assets. It is mainly divided into two categories, i.e. Capital Account and Current Account.
Capital Account comprises all capital transactions whereas Current Account comprises trade of merchandise. Current Account transactions are those transactions that involve inflow and outflow of money to and from the country/countries during a year, due to the trading/rendering of commodity, service, and income.
The current account is an indicator of an economy’s status. As mentioned above the balance of payment comprises current and capital accounts, the remainder of the Balance of Payment is Capital Account, which consists the movement of capital in the economy due to capital receipts and expenditure. Capital account recognises domestic investment in foreign assets and foreign investment in domestic.
FEMA (Foreign Exchange Management Act) is applicable to the whole of India and equally applicable to the agencies and offices located outside India (which are owned or managed by an Indian Citizen). The head office of FEMA is situated in New Delhi and known as Enforcement Directorate. FEMA is applicable to:
The Current Account transactions under the FEMA Act has been categorized into three parts which, namely-
According to the Reserve Bank of India, Foreign Exchange can be drawn from any authorized dealer by the Prior Approval Route or General Permission Route.
|1||Visiting privarely to any country (except Bhutan and Nepal)||10,000 US dollars or its equivalents for one or more private visits in one year.|
|2||Donations/Gift per donor||Remittance should not exceed 1,25,000 US dollar during a Financial Year|
|3||Corporate Donations||1 percent of the forex earnings during the preceeding three Financial Year or 5 million US dollar, whichever is less, for a specified purpose|
|4||Going out of India for the purpose of employment||1,00,000 US dollar one time only|
|5||Remittance facility for emigrations||1,00,000 US dollar or the prescribed amount by country of emigration not exceeding 1,00,000 US dollar one time only.|
|6||Remittance for maintenance of relatives (only close relative) outside India||salary (after the deduction of income tax, Provident Fund and other deduction) of a person not being a permanent resident in India and a citizen of foreign state other than Pakistan.|
1,00,000 US dollar a year per recipient in all other cases
|7||Business Travel Abroad||25000 US dollar per trip respective of stay|
|8||Attending specialized training or conference||25000 US Dollar|
|9||For Medical treatment||1,00,000 US Dollar|
|10||Maintenance of a patient going for medical check-up or medical treatment abroad||25000 US Dollar|
|11||For Studying in Abroad||1,00,000 US Dollar per academic Year or the Institution’s estimation whichever is higher.|
|12||Meeting the expenses of a person accompanying as attendance to a patient going medical check-up or for medical treatment abroad||25000 US Dollar|
|13||Payment of commission to an agent outside India for selling of commercial or residential plot or flats in India||25000 US Dollar or 5 % of inward remittance per transactions whichever is higher|
|14||Consultancy services from abroad||1 million US Dollar per project to 10 million US Dollar per project (for infrastructure project)|
1 million US Dollar In all other cases.
|15||Pre-incorporation’s expenses reimbursement||100,000 US Dollar or 5 percent of the investment brought into India whichever is higher,|
|16||Remittance for purchase and/or use of Trade mark||Allowed without any approval of Reserve Bank of India|
|17||Remittance for securing Health Insurance for from a foreign company||Freely allow|
|18||Remittance of royalty and payment of lump sum fee under the technical collaboration agreement||Freely allow without any prior approval of RBI|
|19||Release of exchange for medical treatment outside India when a person has fallen sick after proceeding abroad||Extent of USD 1,00,000 without any hassles and any loss of time on the basis of self declarations|
|20||Small Value Remittance||Up to USD 25000 (form A2)|
Transactions for which Central Government prior approval is required for Drawl of foreign exchange –
If any person contravenes the provisions of FEMA or any rule, direction, regulation, order or notification issued under FEMA, he shall be liable to pay a penalty up to thrice the sum involved in such contravention or up to Rs.2 lakh. Where such contravention is a continuing one, he shall be liable to pay a further penalty which may extend to Rs.5,000 for every day during which the contravention continues.