The Reserve Bank (RBI) is likely to issue a few bank licences during the model code of conduct, which came into force from Wednesday, Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said here.

“What does the code of conduct have to do with this [bank licence process]. The government and regulators are discharging their normal duties... They [RBI] wish to issue a few licences,” Mr. Chidambaram told reporters at a press conference.

“So that’s the indication we have got. We are not interfering with that process, that is, the RBI’s decision,” he added. The Minister also clarified that the Cabinet would continue to take decisions right up to the elections in accordance with the model code of conduct rules, which bars the ruling party from acting to alter the level-playing field during elections. “The Cabinet will clear proposals based on policies announced earlier...no where does it say government functioning should come to a halt,” he said.

The Minister is scheduled to address the RBI board on Friday.