RBI eases curbs on foreign travel credit card payments

Friday, 31 January 2003, 08:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: Indians travelling abroad for business, medical treatment or conferences will now be able to spend more freely depending on the limits set on their international credit card facility.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Thursday decided to ease curbs on international credit cardholders.

They have been freed from the foreign exchange limit of $10,000 per year for private travel and $25,000 for business travel and also travel related to international conference, training and medical treatment.

Now it will be up to the credit card facility provider to decide on the permissible limit for its cardholders.

"Residents, individuals as well as corporates can avail of the international credit card facility from any of the card issuers in India. The issuers according to their credit perception can fix the credit limit available against such cards," the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said in a statement issued Thursday.

"There is no separate ceiling prescribed by the Reserve Bank under Foreign Exchange Management Act on expenditure incurred through use of credit cards outside or within India," the statement added.

While allowing credit card facility for travel-related expenditure abroad, RBI says all current facilities allowed under a June 27, 2002, order would continue to be permitted.

Last year India's central bank allowed the use of international credit cards on the Internet for the import of books, purchase of downloadable software or import of any other item permissible under the EXIM (Export-Import) Policy.

"There is also no aggregate monetary ceiling separately prescribed for the use of international credit cards through the Internet."

The RBI has, however, barred the use of international credit cards on the Internet or otherwise for purchase of prohibited items like lottery tickets, banned or proscribed magazines, participation in sweepstakes and payment for call back services.

With an all time high foreign exchange reserve of $72.4 billion, India has been gradually easing curbs on foreign exchange for companies and non-resident Indians.
Source: IANS
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