The Reserve Bank of India on Friday said that NRIs will soon be able to use the Bharat Bill Payment System to pay utility bills and education fees on behalf of their family members in India.
Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS) is an interoperable platform for standardized bill payment. More than 20,000 billers are part of the system, and over 8 crore transactions are processed on a monthly basis.
RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said that BBPS has transformed the bill payment experience for users in India and it is now proposed to enable the system to accept cross-border bill payments.
“This will enable Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) to make bill payments for utilities, education and other such payments on behalf of their families in India.
Announcing the bi-monthly monetary policy, he said, “It will be of great benefit especially to senior citizens.”
In a statement, RBI said that this decision will also benefit the payment of bills of any biller on the BBPS platform in an interoperable manner.
The central bank will soon issue necessary instructions in this regard.
The governor also announced a committee to study the possibility of an alternative benchmark for Mumbai Interbank Outright Rate (MIBOR) based overnight indexed swap (OIS) contracts, the most widely used interest rate in the onshore market. derivatives (IRDs).
The use of MIBOR-based derivative contracts has increased with the steps taken by the Reserve Bank to diversify the participant base and facilitate the introduction of new IRD instruments.
At the same time, the MIBOR benchmark rate, calculated on the basis of call money deals executed on the NDS-call platform in the first hour after market opening, is based on a narrow window of transactions, the central bank said.
Internationally, changes have been made to alternative benchmark rates with wider participant bases (beyond banks) and higher liquidity.
“Amidst these developments, it is proposed to set up a committee to thoroughly examine the issues, including the need for transition to an alternative benchmark, and suggest the most appropriate approach,” it said.
RBI also decided that Standalone Primary Dealers (SPDs), who are market-makers like banks, should also be allowed to conduct Foreign Currency Settled Overnight Indexed Swap (FCS-OIS) transactions directly with non-residents and other market-makers. will be allowed.
In February this year, banks in India were allowed to transact in the offshore FCS-OIS market with non-residents and other market makers.
This was allowed with a view to removing the divide between onshore and offshore OIS markets and improving the efficiency of price discovery.
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