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Dec 20, 2012, 10.04 PM IST | Source: PTI

Decks cleared for issuance of new bank licenses

Decks cleared for issuance of new bank licenses

New Delhi, Dec 20 (PTI) Decks were cleared today for entry of corporates into the banking sector with Parliament approving a long-pending Banking Laws Amendment Bill that would give RBI more regulatory powers. "I would expect that the Reserve Bank finalises the guidelines as early as possible and then begins to invite applications and then continues the process," Finance Minister P Chidambaram told reporters after the approval of the Banking Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2012 by the Rajya Sabha. The Lok Sabha had approved the Bill earlier after the government dropped the controversial clause concerning allowing banks to trade in commodity futures. With the passage of the Bill, corporate houses like Tatas, Reliance and also entities in the public sector would be eligible to obtain licences to set up banks. "There is a need for more banks and I hope that the Reserve Bank will act with speed in the matter," Chidambaram said. Besides Banking Bill, the Rajya Sabha also approved the Enforcement of Security Interest and Recovery of Debts Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2012. On the reforms in insurance and pension sectors, Chidambaram expressed hope the bills related to them would be taken up in the Budget session. "I have told the two leaders of Opposition that once the banking bill is passed, I will get back to them for another round of discussion on insurance bill. There is only clause on which there is some difference of opinion," the Minister said. RBI had already issued the draft guidelines in this regard and had assured the government that it would initiate the process of issuing new bank licenses once the Banking Laws Amendment Bill is passed by Parliament. (MORE) PTI SSR JD NKD CS AKK KSR

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