2. On a review of the extant ECB policy, it has been decided to include SIDBI as an eligible borrower for availing of ECB for on-lending to MSME sector, as defined under the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development (MSMED) Act, 2006, subject to the following terms and conditions:-
(a) such on-lending by SIDBI shall be to the borrowers directly either in INR or in foreign currency (FCY);
the foreign currency risk shall be hedged by SIDBI in full in case of on-lending to MSME sector in INR; and
on-lending in foreign currency shall be subject to Regulation 5(5) of FEMA Notification No. 3/2000-RB dated May 03, 2000, as amended from time to time and shall only be to those beneficiaries which have natural hedge by way of foreign exchange earnings;
(b) availment of ECBs, including the outstanding ECBs, up to 50 per cent of their owned funds, for on-lending to MSME sector, will be under the automatic route and beyond 50 per cent of owned funds, will be under the approval route, subject to a ceiling of USD 500 million per financial year; and
(c) the proceeds of ECB availed by SIDBI, shall be used for on-lending to MSME sector only for the permissible end-uses as provided under the extant ECB policy.
3. All other conditions of ECB, such as recognized lender, all- in-cost, average maturity, prepayment, refinancing of existing ECB and reporting arrangements shall remain unchanged.
4. The amended ECB policy shall come into force with immediate effect and is subject to review based on the experience gained in this regard.
5. AD Category-I banks may bring the contents of this circular to the notice of their constituents and customers concerned.
6. The directions contained in this circular have been issued under sections 10(4) and 11(1) of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (42 of 1999) and are without prejudice to permissions / approvals, if any, required under any other law.