THE Indian Government is to lift its ban on companies from bringing unused funds raised through Euro-issues into the country. Previously, companies could only bring in funds when they were required. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will allow funds raised through Euro-issues to be parked in foreign currency certificates of deposit (CDs) and foreign currency notes (FCNs), with banks and financial institutions in India. 'We are introducing this scheme to facilitate the foreign currency needs of small and medium sized exporters,' said O P Sodhani, executive director of the RBI. 'The scheme will also be applicable to foreign currency balances of resident Indians, foreign accounts of non-resident Indians and other available foreign exchange within the country.' The existing RBI guidelines for global depositary receipts specify that companies must keep Euro-proceeds in foreign accounts only, and can only bring them into the country in a phased manner according to the needs of projects for which they are required. These guidelines have been in force over the last two years, since companies were first permitted to raise funds abroad through Euro-issues. Companies were prevented from bringing Euro-funds directly into the country to stop the rupee from strengthening, and to ease the pressure on RBI's market operations. A strong rupee would have worked to the detriment of exporters. The Finance Ministry has tightened policy on external borrowings, and rejected private and public external debt instruments.