News : RBI Sets Up Helpline for Startups on Fund-raising
Mumbai, India, Dec 23, 2015 -- With startups raising funds from a variety of offshore sources, including individuals, private equity players and crowdsourcing, the RBI has set up a dedicated helpline for advice on cross-border remittances which are subject to guidelines issued under the foreign exchange management act.
Although businesses are supposed to know the law before they raise capital, many of the startups are being promoted by very young and inexperienced individuals. Moreover, the amount raised by some of them run into only a few lakhs, making it difficult for them to hire law firms.
The helpline is actually an email ID through which RBI will respond to queries. The central bank said that it will offer guidance/assistance to them for undertaking cross-border transactions within the ambit of the regulatory framework.
"While seeking guidance, the enterprises should provide complete information to the RBI and mention the specific issues on which they need guidance in relation to the Foreign Exchange Management regulations. This would enable the personnel attending the helpline to offer timely and effective information."
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In his Independence Day speech, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced that government would take measures to promote startups in the country. Since then, the government has sought inputs from investors like SoftBank president Nikesh Arora and Snapdeal CEO Kunal Bahl and former Infosys director Mohandas Pai. The department of industrial policy and promotion had drawn up an action plan to address concerns of entrepreneurs. One of the issues raised was the cumbersome process in complying with the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) documentation.
Startups usually undertake a wide range of cross-border transactions including those related to investment. Cross-border transactions of resident Indians are subject to the regulatory regime provided by the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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