New Delhi: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has approved 34 applications from different Russian banks for opening special rupee vostro accounts in 14 Indian commercial lenders as of July 2, Parliament was informed on Wednesday.
India's trade with Russia has been affected by difficulties in payment due to western countries' sanctions on major Russian banks, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Anupriya Patel said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.
"India's trade with Russia has been affected due to the difficulties in payment because of sanctions on major Russian banks, including their disconnection from SWIFT, problems in insurance and re-insurance coverage, and logistics, as the major shipping and logistics companies do not serve Russia-bound cargo," the minister said.
She said the central government has taken several steps to not only sustain but to increase exports to Russia, making payments in national currencies, smooth operationalisation of the International North South Transport Corridor and the Eastern Maritime (Chennai-Vladivostok) Corridor.
On July 11, the RBI had issued guidelines for opening Special Rupee Vostro Accounts (SRVA) by foreign banks in Indian commercial banks.
"As of July 2, the RBI has approved 34 applications from different Russian banks for opening SRVA in 14 Indian commercial banks," she said.
Additionally, multiple meetings have been held with traders, banks and other stakeholders to resolve trade-related issues.
On a question about the European Union's (EU's) due-diligence proposal, she said on such matters, the government holds stakeholders' consultation with ministries concerned, industry bodies, and trade experts for firming up India's position to raise these issues at the appropriate forum.
The European Commission has brought out a legislative proposal in the form of a directive on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence (CSDD), which is yet to be legislated by the EU's competent authorities.
At present, discussions between the European Parliament and the EU Council are going on to find an internal agreement on the CSDD between the different EU authorities.
"Its full implication will be clear only when the law comes into effect," Patel said.