The government has rejected a news report that claimed that bank account holders will be required to furnish their religious background on the Know Your Customer (KYC) form. The clarification came from Rajeev Kumar, Finance Secretary, who took to Twitter to say that no Indian citizen would be asked to state their religion on the form.
There is no requirement for #Indian citizens to declare their religion for opening/ existing #Bank account or for #KYC. Do not fall for baseless rumours about any such move by Banks @PIB_India @DDNewsLive @PTI_News @FinMinIndia @PMOIndia— Rajeev kumar (@rajeevkumr) December 21, 2019
Earlier in the day, The Economic Times reported that the revision in the KYC forms will be kicked in owing to the changes to the FEMA Act regulations, as per which benefits of opening NRO accounts and holding property will be extended to all religious minorities but Muslims migrants.
The report on Saturday stated that the amendments to the Foreign Exchange Management Regulations, cleared by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) last year, were limited to religious minorities from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The report drew scathing reactions on Twitter, with prominent Twitter handles venting their anger against the changes.
Bank KYC forms may seek details of clients’ religion. Shameful! https://t.co/oU5eKlwEfg— Shivam Vij (@DilliDurAst) December 21, 2019
One divide wasn't enough, the next one is here. This all happened... https://t.co/QjyJnKwQCI— Ashutosh M Ahuja (@AshutoshMAhuja) December 21, 2019
This is absolutely unacceptable. What kind of country are we living in? Bank KYC forms may seek details of clients’ religion - Times of India https://t.co/dcpHYqvC4e— ParanjoyGuhaThakurta (@paranjoygt) December 21, 2019
The ET report said that Long Term Visa (LTV) holders from these minority communities would be allowed to buy property and open bank accounts in India. The NRO accounts will be converted into regular bank accounts once they acquire Indian citizenship.
Muslims migrants, atheists and migrants from Tibet, Myanmar and Sri Lanka will be excluded from these rules, said the report.
The report cited the amended Section 3 of FEMA (Deposit) regulations which states that a person from a minority community in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan, who has an LTV, could open only one NRO account.