NRI problems: Know your customer norms now far simpler

RBI says customers are not required to visit a bank branch for complying with the periodic KYC process

By H. P. Ranina

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Reserve Bank of India.
Reserve Bank of India.

Published: Sat 24 Dec 2022, 4:00 PM

Question: Banks in India have been asking customers to visit the branch for KYC compliance. My mother has been threatened that her account will be frozen if she does not do so by the end of this year. Is there no way by which these hassles can be reduced?

ANSWER: The Reserve Bank of India has repeatedly stated that customers are not required to visit a bank branch for complying with the periodic know your customer (KYC) process. If a customer has enrolled in the Central KYC Registry and completed KYC with one bank, the KYC identification number can simply be provided to other banks so long as there are no changes in the KYC details. This can be communicated through e-mail or the mobile phone. In such a case, banks would not be required to freeze bank accounts or take any punitive action against the customer. If any such action is taken, the customer may approach the bank ombudsman who would take action against the bank. The RBI has taken a serious note of harassment caused to customers as complaints are multiplying every day.

Question: I have learnt that digital factories are coming up in India. How do these factories work and what are the benefits?

ANSWER: Many multinational companies are motivated to set up digital factories as they double productivity. In a digital factory, products at the plant communicate with machines and all processes are digitally controlled. A well-known German manufacturer in India has found that the digitalised plant could produce 180 variants on one production line as against 80 variants on three production lines which were used earlier. A product which used to take 21 seconds to make can now be made in 9 seconds. While the old factory did 13 quality checks, the new one does 52. A big difference is being experienced when data from the shop floor is combined with simulation technologies to create digital twins. The digital twins open up enormous possibilities. In fact, digital twins now make it simpler to set up plants all over the world. This is now being adopted by well known automobile manufacturers. These factories also adopt multiphysics simulations whereby different aspects of a system are simulated. Most modern factories are now going in for digitalization to increase productivity, reduce costs and accelerate the process of decarbonisation.

Question: During winter months automobile pollution, has increased drastically and all major cities are facing problems of poor air quality. Apart from creating respiratory problems for residents of these cities, the tourism industry is also affected. Are any steps being taken to meet this environmental challenge?

ANSWER: A new legislation has been introduced in Parliament called Energy Conservation (Amendment) Bill, 2022. Under this bill, the government is empowered to mandate the use of non-fossil fuels by industries and to set efficiency standards for all vehicles, ships and equipment. A company would be liable to heavy fines if it violates the corporate average fuel economy score. To illustrate, if a company is found to be in violation of fleet emission scores, it will have to pay a fine of Rs25,000 per car which is sold. The average corporate CO2 emission limit for Indian car manufacturers has been fixed at 113 gm per kilometre. Each company will have its individual limits fixed based on number of cars sold and the mix of fuel, namely, petrol, diesel, CNG or electric. However, automobile manufacturers feel that the fines announced by the government are much higher in India than in other countries of the world. Nevertheless, the government is determined to reduce environmental pollution and ensure that strict norms are complied with.

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