RBI/2009-10/311 , 
A. P. (DIR Series) Circular No.33

dated : February 09, 2010

External Commercial Borrowings (ECB) Policy – Liberalisation

Attention of Authorized Dealer Category-I (AD Category-I) banks is invited to the Foreign Exchange Management (Borrowing or lending in foreign exchange) Regulations, 2000, notified vide Notification No. FEMA 3/2000-RB dated May 3, 2000, amended from time to time and the A.P. (DIR Series) Circular No. 5 dated August 1, 2005 relating to the External Commercial Borrowings (ECB).

2. As per the extant ECB procedures, any changes in the terms and conditions of the ECB after obtaining the Loan Registration Number (LRN) from the Department of Statistics and Information Management (DSIM), Reserve Bank, require the prior approval of the Reserve Bank. Accordingly, the requests of the borrowers for changes in the terms and conditions, such as, drawdown / repayment schedules, currency of borrowing and changes in designated AD bank, name of the borrowing company, etc. are referred to the Reserve Bank for necessary approval.

3. As a measure of simplification of the existing procedures, it has been decided to delegate powers to the designated AD category-I banks to approve the following requests from the ECB borrowers, subject to specified conditions:

a)  Changes / modifications in the drawdown / repayment schedule

Designated  AD Category – I  banks may approve changes / modifications in the drawdown / repayment schedule of the ECBs already availed, both under the approval  and the automatic routes, subject to the condition that the average maturity period, as declared while obtaining the LRN, is maintained. The changes in the drawdown / repayment schedule should be promptly reported to the DSIM, Reserve Bank in Form 83. However, any elongation / rollover in the repayment on expiry of the original maturity of the ECB would require the prior approval of the Reserve Bank.

b) Changes in the currency of borrowing

Designated AD Category I banks may allow changes in the currency of borrowing, if so desired, by the borrower company, in respect of ECBs availed of both under the automatic and the approval routes, subject to all other terms and conditions of the ECB remaining unchanged. Designated AD banks should, however, ensure that the proposed currency of borrowing is freely convertible.

c) Change of the AD bank

Designated AD Category – I banks may allow change of the existing designated AD bank by the borrower company for effecting its transactions pertaining to the ECBs subject to No-Objection Certificate (NOC) from the existing designated AD bank and after due diligence.

d) Changes in the name of the Borrower Company

Designated AD Category – I banks may allow changes in the name of the borrower company subject to production of supporting documents evidencing the change in the name from the Registrar of Companies.

4.  The modifications to the ECB guidelines will come into force with immediate effect.  All other aspects of the ECB policy, such as USD 500 million limit per company per financial year under the automatic route, eligible borrower, recognised lender, end-use,  all-in-cost ceiling,   average  maturity  period, prepayment, refinancing of existing ECB and reporting arrangements remain unchanged.

5. AD Category –I banks may bring the contents of this circular to the notice of their constituents and customers concerned.

6. The directions contained in this circular have been issued under sections 10(4) and 11(1) of the Foreign Exchange Management Act 1999 (42 of 1999) and are without prejudice to permissions /approvals, if any, required under any other law.

Yours faithfully

(Salim Gangadharan)
Chief General Manager-in-Charge

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