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The Election Commission is likely to take a view on March 31 on the issuance of new bank licences by the RBI, said Election Commissioner HS Brahma.
“The letter (from RBI) came to us about a week back. We have asked them to clarify on certain points. They have clarified. We will either give a positive or a negative reply,” Brahma told reporters on the sideline of a CII function.
On EC’s concerns on the issue, he said: “Our concern is simple; if RBI has done its job properly, honestly and diligently, and if they are confident about their rules and regulations, which they must have done, why should they even refer the matter to us?”
Brahma also questioned what prevented RBI from issuing the bank licences when the guidelines were decided in 2013 itself.
A panel screening applications for new bank licences, headed by former RBI governor Bimal Jalan, had last month submitted its report to the banking regulator. With Tata Sons, the holding company of Tata Group, pulling out, the number of applicants was down from 26 to 25. The list includes corporate groups such as Reliance-ADAG, Larsen & Toubro, Aditya Birla and Bajaj, besides public sector entities such as India Post and IFCI.
The Election Commission’s model code of conduct was enforced earlier this month with the announcement of general election dates, following which the RBI referred the matter to the EC.