Imagindia calls on RBI to delay ban on Amex, Diners Club

Independent think-tank Imagindia Institute has called upon the Reserve Bank to delay the ban on Amex, Diners Club.

Recently, the RBI ruled to impose a ban on American Express Co and Diners Club International from issuing new cards in India.

The order will take effect on May 1.

Accordingly, both the companies have been found non-compliant with India’s data-storage rules, announced in 2018, which order payment systems providers to store all data generated by them on servers in India, and will be restricted from adding new customers to their card networks from May 1.

“Unprecedented times call for agile and blue-sky thinking. The U.S. administration has just days ago stepped forth with a massive humanitarian support for India’s Covid-19 crisis, and so has corporate America as we are seeing from reports coming in,” said Robinder Sachdev, President, The Imagindia Institute, in a statement.

“In such times as these, it makes eminent sense for India to delay or give more time for negotiations and compliances, on any contentious issues in US-India relations which may not be of urgent or deep-national interest, nature.”

According to Sachdev, the mosaic and opto-politics of US-India relationship is very complex, and so is the relationship of corporate America with the US administration.

“Without distracting from the Herculean task of Covid-19 relief in India, a goodwill gesture of strategic and diplomatic signalling by India to delay any adverse rulings on US companies, unless very urgent, will therefore be helpful for all parties concerned.”

“We would like to also inform that Imagindia has no past, present relation or interest in any of the companies mentioned.”

As per the statement, Amex and Diners Club are being penalised under India’s data-storage rules that require all digital payment networks to store their Indian payments data locally so that the regulator can have “unfettered supervisory access”.

Initially, the institute said the US companies had strongly opposed the directive, but now say that they have been demonstrating progress towards complying with the rules.

“If so be the case, then some more time can be given to them to upgrade their compliances, and in the process India will also convey to the U.S. that our two countries have mutual empathy, and a mature partnership,” Sachdev added.

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