Jalan panel on new bank licences submits report

Experts doubt issue of licences, citing polls

Jalan panel on new bank licences submits report

The Bimal Jalan committee on screening new bank licence applications submitted its report to the Reserve Bank of India on Tuesday but it is not yet  clear whether any licence can be issued by the deadline of March 31.

The RBI had got 27 applications for new banking licences, including L&T Finance Holdings Ltd and Reliance Capital Ltd. Two of the applicants --Tata Sons Ltd and Value Industries Ltd --have since withdrawn their applications.

Last week, Financial Services Secretary Rajiv Takru said RBI is likely to issue new bank licences by March 31 but experts are of the view that the government may not be able to move forward at the desired pace because of the election code of conduct being in force after the elections are announced early next month.

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

Besides, LIC Housing Finance, Aditya Birla Nuvo, the Department of Posts,  Bajaj Finserv, Bandhan Financial Services, Edelweiss Financial Services, IDFC, IFCI, Indiabulls Housing Finance, India Infoline, INMACS Management Services, Janalakshmi Financial Services, JM Financial and Muthoot Finance have also applied for licence.

Jalan committee has former deputy governor of RBI Usha Thorat, former chairman of Securities and Exchange Board of India C B Bhave and RBI Central Board Director Nachiket Mor as members.

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.
Kotak Mahindra Bank and Yes Bank were the last two entities to get banking licences from the RBI in 2003-04.

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