The recent launch of the PRAVAAH portal by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is set to revolutionize the process of seeking approvals under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), offering a direct digital interface for NRIs, foreign entities, and Indian corporates.

Traditionally, seeking FEMA approvals involved navigating through authorized dealer (AD) banks, which often led to complex and time-consuming procedures. The new portal aims to simplify this process, potentially reducing overall processing times significantly.

Harshal Bhuta, Partner at PR Bhuta and Co., emphasizes the benefits for NRIs, mentioning scenarios such as sale of inherited agricultural land, remittance of large inheritances, and receipt of gifts from relatives in India.

Moreover, foreign entities and Indian corporates stand to gain from streamlined processes for activities like opening multiple bank accounts, prepayment of external commercial borrowings, and remittances beyond stipulated limits.

Ashish Karundia, Founder of Ashish Karundia and Co., highlights additional opportunities, including direct approval for branch expansion and fund diversions for project continuity. Even foreign citizens from neighboring countries settled in India can now apply for property acquisition.

Currently, the PRAVAAH portal offers 60 application forms covering various RBI approvals and licenses. Ashish Sodhani, Partner at Parakram Legal, anticipates the portal’s impact on general-purpose applications and the types of requests entertained by regulators.

The move aligns with the Finance Minister’s call in the 2023 Budget speech to enhance regulatory efficiency, emphasizing digitization, delegation of powers, and prescribed timelines for processing forms. With PRAVAAH, RBI takes a significant step toward a more efficient and transparent regulatory framework.