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EC yet to decide on bank licenses

The Election Commission is yet to take a decision on the Reserve Bank’s request to allow it to announce the new bank licenses. Sources said the matter is still being considered by the commission. Finance minister P Chidambaram had said although there was no need to refer the proposal, it had been done out of abundant caution. Inviting, screening, scrutinising and selecting candidates for grant of bank licence is a purely RBI-driven process and the government has no role, he had said. However, the RBI sought the Commission’s nod as the model code of conduct came into force with the announcement of general election on 5 March. Final guidelines for setting up new private banks were issued in February 2013. The last day for applications was July 1.The RBI received 27 applications and subsequently, Tata Sons and Value Industries withdrew. Public sector units India Post and IFCI and private sector Anil Ambani group and Aditya Birla group were among the 25 players in the fray for the licences.

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