Banks may ask customers to list religion after a 2018 RBI circular allowing minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan with long-term visas to open accounts and own property.
The changes are similar to CAA that provides citizenship to minorities from these countries. Earlier, a foreigner could open accounts regardless of religion or country of origin.
Amendments to the Foreign Exchange Management Regulations will let immigrant Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians and all minorities from neighboring Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan own property and open accounts in India.
Muslims from those countries had excluded, as were atheists and people from other neighboring countries or regions such as Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Tibet.
The changes are similar to a new law introduced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government that bars Muslims from neighboring countries from seeking Indian citizenship. That law, seen as a precursor to a nationwide citizenship register to weed out illegal migrants, has led to large-scale violent protests that have crossed religious lines and drawn a crackdown by authorities.