an in in ndia 12.33
(v) SMERA (Small and Medium Enterprises dealers and with banks authorised by the Reserve
Rating Agency) was set up in September Bank of India (RBI) which include:55
2005, to rate the overall strength of small (i) Foreign Currency Non-Resident (Bank)
and medium enterprises (SMEs)—the Account [FCNR(B) Account]
erstwhile SSIs. It is not a credit rating (ii) Non-Resident External Account (NRE
agency precisely, but its ratings are used Account)
for this purpose, too. A joint venture of
(iii) Non-Resident Ordinary Rupee Account
SIDBI (the largest share-holder with 22
per cent stake), SBI, ICICI Bank, Dun
& Bradstreet (an international credit FCNR(B) accounts can be opened by NRIs
information company), five public sector and Overseas Corporate Bodies (OCBs) with an
banks (PNB, BOB, BOI, Canara Bank, authorised dealer. The accounts can be opened in
UBI with 28 per cent stake together) and the form of term deposits. Deposits of funds are
CIBIL (Credit Information Bureau of allowed in Pound Sterling, US Dollar, Japanese
India Ltd.). Yen and Euro. Rate of interest applicable to these
A general credit rating service accounts are in accordance with the directives
not linked to any debt issue is also issued by RBI from time to time.
availed by companies—already offered NRE accounts can be opened by NRIs and
in India by rating agencies—CRISIL OCBs with authorised dealers and with banks
calls such ratings as Credit Assessment.53 authorised by RBI. These can be in the form
International rating agencies such as of savings, current, recurring or fixed deposit
Moody’s, S & P also undertake sovereign accounts. Deposits are allowed in any permitted
ratings, i.e., of countries—highly currency. Rate of interest applicable to these
instrumental in external borrowings of accounts are in accordance with the directives
the countries. issued by RBI from time to time.
Individuals are also covered by credit appraisal NRO accounts can be opened by any person
which is on useful information for the consumer resident outside India with an authorised dealer or
credit firms. To maintain a database on the credit an authorised bank for collecting their funds from
records of individuals the credit Information local bonafide transactions in Indian Rupees.
Bureau of India Limited (CIBIL) was set up in When a resident becomes an NRI, his existing
May 2004 which makes credit informations Rupee accounts are designated as NRO. These
available to banks and financial institutions about accounts can be in the form of current, savings,
prospective individual borrowers54 recurring or fixed deposit accounts.
There were two more NRI deposit accounts
non-resIdent IndIan dePosIts in operation, viz., Non-Resident (Non-Repatriable)
Foreign Exchange Management (Deposit) Rupee Deposit Account and Non-Resident (Special)
Regulations, 2000 permits Non-Resident Indians Rupee Account—an amendment to Foreign
(NRIs) to have deposit accounts with authorised Exchange Management (Deposit) Regulations, in
2002, discontinued the acceptance of deposits in
53. S. Sundararajan, Book of Financial Terms, (New Delhi: these two accounts from April 2002 onwards.
Tata McGraw Hill, 2004), p. 44.
54. As per the latest update by the RBI, 11 May, 2012. 55. As per the latest update by the RBI, 11 May, 2012.