Mumbai: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has allowed non-resident Indians (NRIs) to operate joint savings bank accounts of their close relatives on a “former or survivor" basis.

However, cheques, remittances, cash and cards or any other proceeds belonging to the NRI’s close relative shall not be eligible for credit to this account.

“The NRI close relative shall operate such account only for and on behalf of the resident for domestic payment and not for creating any beneficial interest for himself. Where due to any eventuality, the non-resident account holder becomes the survivor of such an account, it shall be categorized as Non-Resident Ordinary Rupee (NRO) account as per the extant regulations," RBI said.

The central bank has made the change for the “operational convenience" of NRIs, the notification said.

Earlier, NRIs were not allowed to operate the account during the lifetime of the local resident account holder.