Banking bill passed, India clears way for bigger foreign investment in banks

Dec 18 2012, 21:14 IST
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The controversial clause allowed futures trading for banks from a bill which seeks to amend banking laws. (Reuters) The controversial clause allowed futures trading for banks from a bill which seeks to amend banking laws. (Reuters)
SummaryThis happened only after a controversial clause was dropped.

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RBI wanted the government to amend the banking laws before starting the process towards issuance of new banking licences.

The Bill, along with proposed legislations on pension and insurance, was one of the five key reforms measures on the government's agenda during the current session of Parliament.

The passage of the Bill, Shinjini Kumar, Director PWC India said, "Creates necessary condition for some of the important steps forward, the sufficient conditions will be known after RBI issues final guidelines".

The government dropped the controversial changes in the Bill in deference to the wishes of Opposition, Chidambaram said, adding it has accepted all major recommendations of the Standing Committee on Finance.

On the proposal to allow banks to participate in the commodity futures trading, he said, it was based on the recommendations of the Standing Committee on Food and Consumer Affairs and report of the Reserve Bank's working group.

As regards other issues, he said, while RBI would regulate the banking sector, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) would look into competition practices in the banking sector.

Reacting to the passage of the Bill by Lok Sabha, FICCI President Naina Lal Kidwai said it is an important piece of legislation that will the foundation for many reforms in the banking sector.

"This will help expand the reach of banking services to the financially excluded," she said.

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