‘First the guidelines on banking licences should be in place’

A day after the Lok Sabha passed the Banking Laws (Amendment) Bill, RBI Deputy Governor K. C. Chakrabarty, on Wednesday, said the process for issuing new banking licences would be expedited.

“The process will be expedited... I don’t think, it should take much time,” Dr. Chakrabarty told reporters on the sidelines of an event organised by IDBI Bank here. He, however, did not give a timeframe.

Voting rights

Referring to issuing of licences to corporates, the Deputy Governor said first the guidelines on banking licences should be in place.

Among other things, the Bill seeks to raise the voting rights of retail/minority investors in private sector banks to 26 per cent from 10 per cent. The Bill also allows the RBI to supersede boards of private sector banks and increase the cap on voting rights of private investors in public sector banks to 10 per cent from the present one per cent.

Changes brought by the new Bill will enable the RBI to issue new banking licences.

Replying to a question whether the RBI is comfortable with the fact that Competition Commission of India will regulate mergers and acquisitions in the banking space, Dr. Chakrabarty said, “This law is approved by Parliament and in a parliamentary democracy, what Parliament says is supreme. So, I can’t say as an institution that I am uncomfortable.”