Jalan panel to finalise report three months after RBI scrutiny

Last Updated: Wednesday, December 11, 2013 - 19:18

New Delhi: An expert committee, headed by former RBI Governor Bimal Jalan, Wednesday said it will submit its report on applications for new bank licences three months after Reserve Bank completes scrutiny of all 25 applicants.

The RBI is currently scrutinising various aspects of applications made by 25 entities for new bank licences expected to be given by the end of March 2014.

The Jalan panel, entrusted with scrutinising applications for new bank licences, held its first meeting in November.

"RBI is doing intensive scrutiny of all the parameters as per the guidelines. They (RBI) have set three months time after RBI has done its scrutiny," Jalan said on the sidelines of Delhi Economic Conclave.

The other members of the committee are Usha Thorat, former RBI Deputy Governor, C B Bhave former SEBI chief, and Nachiket M Mor, Director of the Central Board of Directors of RBI.

Originally, there were 26 entities evinced interest for new bank licences. However, Tata Sons, the holding company of Tata group, withdrew its application last month leaving 25 players in the fray.

"We are trying to frame policy on bank... They are going to deal with public money. Therefore we don't want to rush, we will take decision which is in our interest, public interest... Time per se to me is not that important," Jalan said.

Among public sector units, India Post and IFCI, while in the private sector Anil Ambani and Aditya Birla group had submitted applications on July 1.

Raghuram Rajan, who took charge as the 23rd Governor on September 4, said at that time that the RBI planned to issue new bank licences around January.

Earlier this month, he had said the central bank would endeavour to do "as much as possible" before RBI Deputy Governor Anand Sinha, who looks after new bank licences, retires in January.

The RBI had issued guidelines for licensing of new banks in the private sector on February 22 and issued clarifications in the first week of June.

In the past 20 years, the RBI has licensed 12 banks in the private sector in two phases. Ten banks were licensed on the basis of guidelines issued in January 1993.

The guidelines were revised in January 2001 based on the experience gained from the functioning of these banks and fresh applications were invited. Kotak Mahindra Bank and Yes Bank were the last two entities to get banking licenses from the RBI in 2003-04.

First Published: Wednesday, December 11, 2013 - 19:14
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