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Bimal Jalan Panel Submits Report on New Bank Licences
Feb 27, 2014

The Bimal Jalan panel which was scrutinising applications for new bank licences has submited its report to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The report contains names of entities eligible for bank licences. The high-level advisory panel started the process of evaluations with the first meeting in November 2013. Other members of the committee are former RBI Deputy Governor Usha Thorat, former Securities and Exchange Board of India Chairman C.B. Bhave and Nachiket M. Mor, Director of the Central Board of Directors of the RBI.

In the 2001 round of guidelines for new licences, the committee members were C.G. Somiah, former government auditor CAG, I.G. Patel, former RBI Governor, and Dipankar Basu, former head of State Bank of India.

The Jalan panel scrutinised 25 applications, the background verification of all the applicants and recommended a roadmap to award licences to the eligible entities. The RBI had initially received 27 applications but Tata Sons and Videocon Group’s Value Industries Ltd withdrew later. KC Land & Finance was subsequently added to the list of applicants.

Public sector units India Post and IFCI and private sector Anil Ambani group and Aditya Birla group are among the 25 contenders for bank licences. Bajaj Finance, Muthoot Finance, Religare Enterprises and Shriram Capital have also applied.

In the past 20 years, the RBI has licensed 12 banks in the private sector in two phases. Ten banks were licensed on the basis of guidelines issued in January 1993. Kotak Mahindra Bank and Yes Bank were the last two entities to get banking licences from the RBI in 2003-04. India has 27 public sector banks, 22 private sector banks and 56 regional rural banks.

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