Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to open and operate the “FCRA Account”
1. The amended Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 mandates that every person/NGO/ Association (hereinafter referred to as an “entity”) that have been granted FCRA certificate of registration or prior permission u/s 12 of the Act shall open an “FCRA Account” at specified branch of State Bank of India in New Delhi. The Central Government vide notification dated 07.10.2020 has notified New Delhi Main Branch (henceforth NDMB) of SBI, 11, Sansad Marg, New Delhi-110001 as specified branch.
2. Presently, there are approximately 23,000 entities which have got a Certificate of Registration or prior permission to receive foreign contribution. They now have to open a “FCRA Account” for inward remittance of any foreign contribution at the aforementioned specified branch (i.e. NDMB) on or before 31.03.2021. From the date of opening of “FCRA Account” in NDMB or from 31.03.2021, whichever is earlier, no inward remittance will be allowed in any account other than that opened in NDMB.
3. The following steps and procedure will be followed so as to ensure hassle- free opening and operation of “FCRA Account” by entities making requests for fresh FCRA registration/prior permission as well as existing FCRA registration/prior permission holders having FCRA accounts in any Branch or Bank other than NDMB Branch of SBI.
A. SOP for account opening
i. Any entity which seeks to receive foreign contribution may approach either the nearest SBI Branch or any other SBI Branch of their choice for submitting the completed Account Opening Form (AOF) for KYC/photo/signature verification, scanning and forwarding through mail as well as sending hard copy of their AOF for opening of “FCRA Account” at NDMB.
ii. The applicant shall collect the Account Opening Form (AOF) physically or download the same from the website of SBI and submit the duly filled up form along with mandatory KYC documents, for scrutiny / verification. Mandatory documents should include KYCs of signatories and KYCs of Controlling Person / Beneficial Owner (in terms of guidelines issued by RBI).
iii. The applicant shall receive an acknowledgement in this regard from the AOF accepting Branch.
iv. The AOF accepting branch of SBI would scrutinize AOF and KYC documents and email the verified documents to SBI, NDMB within 3 working days from the date of receipt of completed documents. SBI, NDMB shall confirm to the applicant entity through an email regarding receipt of AOF and other documents within 1 working day of its receipt.
v. The NDMB will intimate to the applicant entity the details of “FCRA Account” so opened within 3 working days from the date of receipt of duly verified scanned copies of complete set of AOF and KYC documents from e-mail ID of the receiving branch. The intimation will be sent by registered email ID as well as through SMS.
vi. “Entity” can maintain their existing FCRA Accounts for Keeping or Utilization purposes.
vii. The complete details of the specified branch i.e. SBI NDMB are as under:
|Name of the Branch||State Bank of India, New Delhi Main Branch (NDMB).|
|Address of the FCRA Cell at NDMB||FCRA Cell, 1st Floor, 11, Sansad Marg, New Delhi-110001|
|Telephone No.||011-23374392, 23374390, 23374143, 23374213|
B. Process flow after opening of “FCRA Account” in case of persons entities already in possession of a Registration Certificate or prior permission of Central Govt. to receive foreign contribution through SWIFT mode.
i. The NDMB will allow receipt of foreign contribution only in the “FCRA
Account” opened in NDMB after confirming that the MHA has already
granted a certificate or prior permission under section 12 of FCRA, 2010.
The foreign inward remittance received should invariably contain following details:
- “FCRA Account” Number of the Beneficiary in the NDMB of SBI
- SWIFT Code of NDMB (SBININBB104)
- Name of the Beneficiary
- Name of the Donor/ Remitter
- Account number of the Donor/Remitter
- Donor/Remitter’s Address
- Donor/Remitter’s Country of Residence
ii. In case of fresh applicant / entity, the NDMB shall open the “FCRA
Account” and then wait for MHA’s decision on the application of the
entities / persons for grant of prior permission or registration certificate. As
soon as the MHA approval for such registration or prior permission is
conveyed to NDMB through an e-mail, NDMB shall allow inflow of foreign
contribution into the relevant account from that date.
iii. SBI, NDMB shall intimate the customers, through an e-mail and SMS
regarding receipt of foreign contribution.
iv. The customers will be required to submit an undertaking detailing the
purpose of the receipt of funds as per FEMA declaration and RBI
guidelines to the SBI Branch, where it had initially submitted the AOF.
The Branch shall then forward duly scrutinized copies to New Delhi Main Branch on the designated email id (email@example.com).
v. Standard Forex conversion rate as permitted under the FEMA guidelines and RBI instructions to be applied on the inflow of foreign currency. It shall be duly intimated to the account holder through an e-mail.
vi. The “FCRA Account” holder shall have complete freedom to transfer the foreign contribution (FC) received in “FCRA Account” opened in NDMB to another “FCRA Account”, if any, of his choice opened in any branch of any Scheduled Commercial Bank as per its convenience for keeping or utilization. It may also avail Internet Banking facility (with full transaction rights) with the NDMB.
vii. NDMB will not levy any charges / fee etc on any transfer of foreign contribution from the “FCRA Account” to “another FCRA Account”, if any, and to Utilization Account, if any, of the entity. For each such transfer, the “FCRA Account” holder to be informed through an e-mail as well as SMS immediately.
C. Grievance redressal mechanism:
If the “FCRA Account” holder raises any grievance while opening of “FCRA Account” or while operating it, the following redressal mechanism shall be available:
i) The “FCRA Account” holder or the applicant entity may send e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org. The NDMB shall create an “FCRA Cell” to handle all such e-mails.
ii) The applicant person / entity or the “FCRA Account” holder may also register their complaints / grievances/ suggestion on 011-23374392, 23374143, 23374213.
iii) If grievance is not redressed after accessing the aforementioned mechanism, it may be escalated through an e-mail to email@example.com. The DGM of NDMB will handle this matter.
iv) The escalation matrix for grievance redressal is given in the paragraph C(i), C(ii) and C(iii) above. However if the applicant person / entity is not satisfied with the grievance redressal provided, then the grievance may be escalated to DGM (IBD-II) [e-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org] who is the apex grievance redressal authority.