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Procedure to Register Project Office in India

What is Project Office ?

A Project office is an office that is opened by a foreign company to undertake a specific project. The Project office remains opened for that specific project only with an intention to be closed once the project is completed.

Procedure to Register Project Office in India

PROCEDURE INVOLVED

The Reserve Bank has granted general permission to foreign companies to establish Project Offices in India, provided they have secured a contract from an Indian company to execute a project in India, and

  1. the project is funded directly by inward remittance from abroad; or
  2. the project is funded by a bilateral or multilateral International Financing Agency; or
  3. the project has been cleared by an appropriate authority; or
  4. a company or entity in India awarding the contract has been granted Term Loan by a Public Financial Institution or a bank in India for the project.

However, if the above criteria are not met or if the parent entity is established in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Iran , China, Hong Kong or Macau, such applications have to be forwarded to the Foreign Exchange Department, Reserve Bank of India, Central Office, Mumbai for approval.

What are the bank accounts permitted to a Project Office?

AD Category – I banks can open non-interest bearing Foreign Currency Account for Project Offices in India subject to the following:

  1. The Project Office has been established in India, with the general / specific permission of Reserve Bank, having the requisite approval from the concerned Project Sanctioning Authority concerned.
  2. The contract, under which the project has been sanctioned, specifically provides for payment in foreign currency.
  3. Each Project Office can open two Foreign Currency Accounts, usually one denominated in USD and other in home currency, provided both are maintained with the same AD category–I bank.
  4. The permissible debits to the account shall be payment of project related expenditure and credits shall be foreign currency receipts from the Project Sanctioning Authority, and remittances from parent/ group company abroad or bilateral / multilateral international financing agency.
  5. The responsibility of ensuring that only the approved debits and credits are allowed in the Foreign Currency Account shall rest solely with the branch concerned of the AD. Further, the Accounts shall be subject to 100 per cent scrutiny by the Concurrent Auditor of the respective AD banks.
  6. The Foreign Currency accounts have to be closed at the completion of the Project.