The FEMA, also referred to as the Foreign Exchange Management Act was introduced in the year 1999. The act was a replacement of the FERA or Foreign Exchange Regulation Act. FEMA came into effect on 1st of June, 2000. FEMA was passed since FERA did not meet the requirements of the policies being implemented after liberalization. FEMA introduced a prominent change in the system by making all the offences pertaining to foreign exchange as the civil offences, instead of criminal offences (earlier applicable in the case of FERA).
As far as FEMA is concerned, it basically aims at consolidating and amending the foreign exchange law with an aim to facilitate external trading as well as payments. The act was designed for promoting the development as well as maintenance of the Indian foreign exchange market in an orderly manner. At present, FEMA can be applied across India as well as across all the branches, agencies and offices outside of India controlled or owned by an individual who is an Indian resident. FEMA’s head office, also referred to as Enforcement Directorate is located in New Delhi and spearheaded by its Directors.
The FEMA head-office, also known as the Enforcement Directorate is situated in New Delhi and is headed by its director. FEMA also has as many as five zonal offices in Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata as well as Jalandhar and every office is divided into seven other (sub-zonal) offices with Assistant Directors as their head.