RemitBhutan gets more tak­ers

164 for­eign cur­rency ac­counts opened in a span of less than two months

Business Bhutan - - Nation - Dechen Dolkar from Thim­phu

Since the in­tro­duc­tion of for­eign cur­rency (FC) ac­counts, 164 Non­Res­i­dent Bhutanese from 13 coun­tries opened FC ac­counts with the Royal Mon­e­tary Author­ity (RMA) be­tween 6 Septem­ber and 20 Oc­to­ber this year.

The cen­tral bank re­ceived in to­tal 222 ap­pli­ca­tions for FC ac­counts but 53 ap­pli­ca­tions were re­jected due to in­com­plete in­for­ma­tion.

Non-Res­i­dent Bhutanese from Kuwait, Aus­tralia, Cen­tral African Repub­lic, Amer­ica, Qatar, Malaysia, Bel­gium, Mal­dives, Nether­land, Western Sa­hara, United Arab Emi­rates, Su­dan and Is­rael have ap­plied for FC ac­counts. Kuwait has the high­est num­ber of ac­count hold­ers with 103 fol­lowed by 27 in Qatar as of now.

Among the fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions, Bank of Bhutan (BoB) has the high­est num­ber of FC ac­count hold­ers with 124 fol­lowed by Bhutan Na­tional Bank (BNB) with 45 FC ac­count hold­ers.

The Direc­tor of in­for­ma­tion and tech­nol­ogy depart­ment of RMA, Sherab Jamt­sho, said as of now there is no sin­gle FC ac­count holder in T-Bank and Druk PNB and per­haps this is be­cause peo­ple pre­fer BoB and BNB to other banks.

In terms of cur­rency, there are 154 US$ FC ac­count hold­ers, 13 AUD FC ac­count hold­ers and two EURO FC ac­count hold­ers.

The Direc­tor said Non­Res­i­dent Bhutanese have the cur­rency op­tion while open­ing the ac­count but they can open only one cur­rency ac­count.

The RMA’s in­ward re­mit­tance rules and reg­u­la­tions 2016 states that for­eign cur­rency ac­count can be opened for USD, EUR, GBP, JPY, AUD, CAD, and INR or any other for­eign cur­rency per­mit­ted by the RMA from time to time.

The reg­u­la­tion also states that the au­tho­rized bank and au­tho­rized money trans­fer agent will main­tain record of for­eign ex­change trans­ac­tions ac­cru­ing from its re­mit­tance busi­ness for a min­i­mum pe­riod of five years.

Direc­tor Sherab Jamt­sho said that peo­ple can re­mit money by means of money or­der and other ac­cept­able in­ter­na­tional money trans­fer through au­tho­rized bank­ing chan­nels.

The pro­ceeds of in­ward re­mit­tance will be paid to the ben­e­fi­ciary af­ter de­duct­ing ap­pli­ca­ble com­mis­sion and charges in any de­posit by way of cash or cheque into the Non-Res­i­dent’s Bhutanese Ngul­trum ac­counts that are tagged to in­ter­na­tional debit card.

The reg­u­la­tion also states that in­ward re­mit­tance ex­ceed­ing US$ 5,000 or its equiv­a­lent will be re­ported to the Fi­nan­cial In­tel­li­gence Unit (FIU) of the RMA.

RemitBhutan was launched in Thim­phu on 22 Septem­ber. It was also launched in New York, USA, on 9 Oc­to­ber this year by Fi­nance Min­is­ter Nam­gay Dorji. Ly­onpo handed over the In­ter­na­tional Debit Cards to those Non-Res­i­dent Bhutanese who had al­ready ap­plied on­line and opened the FC ac­counts.

Be­sides the ease of trans­fer of money from for­eign coun­tries, FC ac­count hold­ers will also en­joy pref­er­en­tial in­ter­est on de­posits and full repa­tri­a­tion of the prin­ci­pal amount and these ac­counts can also act as se­cu­rity de­posit to avail loans in ngul­trum.

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