Country is ready for new banks: Sharma

Country is ready for new banks: Sharma New Delhi: Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma Friday said the country is ready for new banks and authorities concerned would have looked into the necessary safeguards in this regard.

Responding to reporters' queries that whether enough safeguards are there in the country for allowing private and public sector entities to set up new banks, Sharma said: "I am sure all that (enough safeguards) is looked into and the country is ready. My view is what is the government's decision."

Banking sector regulator Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has allowed corporates and PSUs with sound credentials and Rs 500 crore capital to set up commercial banks under new guidelines that may also open the doors for the Postal Department and insurance behemoth LIC.

"Entities/groups should have a past record of sound credentials and integrity, be financially sound with a successful track record of 10 years," RBI said, adding that it would seek feedback about applicants from other regulators, enforcement and investigative agencies like I-T Department, CBI, ED, as deemed appropriate.

The minimum paid-up capital for setting up a bank has been pegged at Rs 500 crore. The cap on the foreign investment, including FDI/FII and NRI, has been set at 49 percent.