Bimal Jalan panel submits recommendations on new bank licences

A panel led by former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Bimal Jalan has submitted its recommendations on positive and negative aspects of granting new bank licences to all 25 applicants, after completing their background verification.

The expert committee, which was set up by the central bank, had started evaluating the applications at its first meeting on November 1, 2013 and examined details submitted by the various regulatory agencies about these applicants.

Other members of the high-level advisory committee include former RBI deputy governor Usha Thorat, former ICICI Bank executive director Nachiket Mor and former Securities & Exchange Board of India chairman CB Bhave.

Now, the final call will be taken by the RBI governor Raghuram Rajan on the number of the licences and the identity of the licence recipients after consultations within the central bank and with the finance minister P Chidambaram. The RBI board is expected to hold a meeting on March 7 to discuss the same, The Economic Times quoted an unidentified person as saying.

The entire process of giving in-principle approval for the bank licences is likely to get completed by end of March this year.

Originally, the central bank had received application from 27 companies. However, Tata Sons Ltd and Videocon Group’s Value Industries Ltd decided to withdraw their application later.

LIC Housing Finance, Aditya Birla Nuvo, Bajaj Finserv, Shriram Capital, LIC Housing Finance, L&T Finance, India Post, Bandhan Financial Services and Janalakshmi Financial Services are among the companies that have applied for new bank licences.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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