IFSC businesses are organized in the nation itself but work outside the company’s original jurisdiction. The central government recognizes IFSC companies under section 18(1) of the SEZ Act, 2005. It is an unlisted business, operating in Special Economic Zones, provided there is only one IFSC company in a Special Economic Zone. It essentially serves citizens outside the country’s domestic economic jurisdiction to extend the world-class infrastructure to both residents and non-residents. It serves as a facilitation hub to improve export services.
They provide services that include raising funds for individuals, government and companies; global tax management and optimization of cross-border tax liability; risk management operations such as insurance, mergers, and acquisitions among transnational corporations, etc. Earlier, around 2007, Mumbai was suggested as an IFSC Centre. Nevertheless, 2008’s global financial crisis forced India to reject the proposal. Then, in 2015, GIFT City was launched as a regional financial center via the 2015 Union Budget.
Now the question is, what kind of organizations should set up IFSC offices? All entities controlled by RBI or SEBI or IRDA are eligible to create offices in the region, such as banks, insurance companies, brokerage firms, investment advisors, transfer agency services, etc.
Working of IFSC
IFSC serves as an Indian-ruled overseas territory. It helps companies incorporated outside India to raise money in foreign currencies by listing their shares on IFSC stock exchange where an individual or institutional investors from abroad, including NRIs, are permitted to trade. Mutual and alternative investment funds founded in an IFSC may also invest in securities listed here. GIFT City has two areas: domestic and regional. All rupee-denominated transactions can be made from domestic GIFT.
Special Economic Zone is a region within the country’s national boundaries, where business and trade laws vary from the rest of the world. It is developed primarily to increase trade balance, increase investment, and create employment. Any IFSC company shall provide financial services to an individual non-resident in India, a non-resident Indian, an individual or financial institution entitled under FEMA to invest funds offshore. Also, IFSC mutual and alternative investment funds may invest in IFSC-listed securities.
The goal of the IFSC is to build a smart city of world-class financial services. Actually, Indian Corporate Entities or financial institutions from other branches and financial centers around the world provide these services. IFSCs provide cross-border services. As part of a Special Economic Region, India’s first IFSC is GIFT City in Gujrat. The community project GIFT is carried out by GIFT Community Co. Ltd., 50:50 Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Ltd., and Gujrat Urban Development Company Ltd. joint venture. In Gujrat, the clever city GIFT, India’s first IFSC, many real estate developers have signed MoUs to construct hospitals, hotels, residential complexes, and commercial buildings.
Companies Act, 2013, extends to both IFSC private and public corporations. IFSC securities issuers are expected to file a statement of accounts under the Companies Act, 2013. Policy, however, has relaxed some provisions of the Act and other regulations to encourage the involvement of organizations in IFSC as it applies to financial services, three regulatory bodies, i.e., India’s Reserve Bank, India’s Stock Exchange Commission, and India’s Insurance Regulator.
Budget 2019 has introduced several IFSC changes that will promote the regulatory system and boost business-friendliness. International Financial Services Center Authority Act, 2019 IFSCs’ fluid existence makes it necessary to have a high degree of inter-regulatory coordination. This Bill seeks to introduce a single authority to control all IFSC financial services.
How does IFSC company differ from a normal business structure?
• IFSC companies can only be set up if shares are restricted.
• Each company shall have ‘IFSC’ in its name.
• IFSC’s object clause must state that ‘they will carry out the objects as necessary and specified in SEZ activities and in compliance with SEZ Laws.’
• IFSC’s registered office must be located in a Special Economic Zone.
In order to carry offshore financial transactions to the Indian Territory, IFSC companies play a key role. The main objective was to bring back the financial services and transactions carried out by the Indian corporations in offshore financial centers. At the moment, IFSC is entitled to create institutions within the financial sector, such as banks, insurance companies, stock exchanges, mutual funds, alternative capital funds, and other registered SEBI institutions. With the aid of these tax incentives, SEBI, IRDA, benefits, and exemptions provided by various regulations, IFSC is given the necessary impetus to succeed in India. RBI opened up opportunities for IFSC units for all Indian and foreign banks operating in India. IFSC provides easier access for Indian companies to global financial markets and also opens the door to financial sector jobs.