Bank KYC Can Now Ask Your Religion For Verification: Here Is The Reason Why?
Very soon, bank KYC or Know Your Customer forms will have a new column for all clients: Religion.
If this happens, this would be for the first time that religion will be asked to bank customers’ KYC.
But what is the reason?
Bank KYC Will Have Religion: What Is The Reason?
As per a report by Times of India, banks can be forced to include a religion column in their KYC documents, because of changes made in the FEMA Act Rules.
FEMA or The Foreign Exchange Management Act is a 1999 act to “to consolidate and amend the law relating to foreign exchange with the objective of facilitating external trade and payments and for promoting the orderly development and maintenance of foreign exchange market in India”.
As per a recent change in the FEMA Act, benefits of opening NRO accounts and holding property will now extend to few religious minorities, which excludes Muslims.
As per an amendment made last year, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians — from Afganistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh can now hold LTVs or Long Term Visas, which will help them to open bank accounts and buy property in India.
Just like Citizen Amendment Bill 2019 which was passed this week, Muslims from these three countries are excluded in the benefits of FEMA changes, so are the immigrants (from all religions) from other nations such as Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Tibet.
What Do The New FEMA Rules Say?
The amendment to Schedule 3 of the Fema (Deposit) regulations states: “A person being a citizen of Bangladesh or Pakistan belonging to minority communities in those countries, namely, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians who is residing in India and has been granted a Long Term Visa (LTV) by the central government is permitted to open with an authorized dealer only one NRO Account. The said NRO account shall be converted to a resident account once the person becomes a citizen of India within the meaning of the Citizenship Act, 1955.”
Is This Unconstitutional?
As per some lawyers and activists, such religious discrimination for foreign nationals in banking sector is unprecedented and unconstitutional.
As per them, it violates Article 14 of the Indian Constitution.
We are waiting for more clarity on this issue.