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Who Is The Regulatory Body Of GIFT City In India?

GIFT City, located in Gujarat, India, is a growing financial hub that is attracting global businesses, investors, and professionals. As India's first smart city under the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) scheme, it holds unique appeal for companies seeking to establish a foothold in the Indian market. However, who oversees and regulates this burgeoning financial centre? The answer is the International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA), the unified regulatory body responsible for GIFT City.

Background of IFSCA

India's first International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) was established in December 2015 within GIFT City. In 2019, the Indian government passed the International Financial Services Centres Authority Act, creating the legal framework for a new regulatory body, the IFSCA. By April 2020, IFSCA was formally established, unifying the regulatory roles of major Indian financial authorities like the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI), Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India (IRDAI), and Pension Fund Regulatory Development Authority of India (PFRDAI).

Purpose and Structure of IFSCA

IFSCA was created to oversee and regulate the financial products, services, and institutions within GIFT City, which includes a range of entities like banks, insurance providers, stock exchanges, asset management companies, and fintech hubs. The establishment of IFSCA aimed to streamline regulation and foster a conducive environment for international financial activities. GIFT City operates as a multi-service SEZ, providing a comprehensive platform for financial and business services, with the goal of attracting international investment and enhancing India's competitiveness on the global stage.

Scope of Activities Regulated by IFSCA

IFSCA supervises a wide range of business activities, including banking (Indian and foreign banks), insurance (Indian and foreign insurers, reinsurers, and intermediaries), capital markets (stock exchanges, brokers, clearing corporations), asset management, pension fund services, alternative investment funds, and various allied services like fintech hubs, accounting, and legal services.

Benefits of IFSCA and GIFT City

GIFT City, with IFSCA as its regulatory authority, offers numerous benefits:

  • Access to Global Markets: GIFT City provides a gateway to the international financial markets and serves as a bridge between India and its global diaspora, estimated at around 30 million people.
  • Opportunities for Growth: India aims to generate approximately USD 120 billion from international financial services by 2025, with GIFT City positioned as a significant contributor to this goal.
  • Competitive Cost Structure: The cost of doing business in GIFT City is competitive on a global scale, making it an attractive location for multinational companies and fintech start-ups.
  • Unique Services: GIFT City is home to India's first International Bullion Spot Exchange and offers a fintech regulatory sandbox to attract global innovators.

Role of IFSCA

The IFSCA's main role is to oversee the development and regulation of financial services in GIFT City. It replaces the multiple domestic regulators with a unified framework, allowing for a more coordinated approach to regulation. The IFSCA aims to create a conducive business environment, foster international connections, and contribute to the growth and development of India's financial sector. It also serves as an international platform for financial activities, attracting business from across the globe.

The International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA) plays a crucial role in regulating and overseeing the operations within GIFT City. With its comprehensive regulatory framework, GIFT City is well positioned to become a leading international financial hub and a prime destination for both Indian and foreign businesses and investors. The future looks promising as GIFT City aims to become a major player in the global financial landscape, with IFSCA ensuring that the regulatory environment supports this growth.

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