EC to take a view on new bank licences on March 31

Tags: News
The Election Commission today said it will take a view on the issuance of new bank licences by the Reserve Bank on Monday.

"I think most likely we will take up the issue on Monday," Election Commissioner H S Brahma said when asked if the EC had already taken view on the request of RBI to allow the central bank to issue new bank licences.

He said that the RBI has already submitted clarifications sought by the Commission.

"The letter (from RBI) has come to us... It came to us about a week back. We have asked them to clarify certain points. They have clarified," he said.

About two dozen public and private sector applicants, including India Post, IFCI and large business houses such as the Anil Ambani group and the Aditya Birla group, have applied for bank licences.

On the concerns of Election Commission with regard to issuance of licence, Brahma said: "Our concern is simple, if you have done your job properly... If they are very confident about their rules and regulations, why should they refer to us? Point is that, if they have done their job thoroughly, honestly, diligently, they should not have referred."

He further said if everything with regard to new bank licence were decided on 2013, then what prevented RBI from issuing them.

The model code of conduct has come into force with the announcement of general election earlier this month. Last month, the Bimal Jalan panel, which scrutinised applications for new bank licences, submitted its report along with shortlisted entities to the RBI.

Guidelines for setting up new private banks were issued in February 2013 and the last day for applications was July 1.

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