New bank licences: Waiting for Godot

Finance minister P. Chidambaram has kept his word. He has pushed through an amendment to banking laws in Parliament to strengthen regulatory powers of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) even if that meant dropping a clause in the Bill that would have allowed commercial banks’ entry into commodity futures trading. Read more

Insurance News: Government can ask for more FII in insurance

Two days ahead of the Parliament opening recently, BJP leader and head of the Standing Committee on Finance, Yashwant Sinha, indicated areas where the government could get critical bills passed, provided, he underscored, the government chose not to be obdurate. While Sinha was critical of statements by commerce minister Anand Sharma saying executive decisions like FDI in retail couldn’t be questioned by those who had blinkers on, he suggested the BJP may not go with Mamata Banerjee’s no-confidence motion against FDI in retail—a decision will be taken later today. The Banking Regulation Act, which would allow RBI to start processing new bank licences, he indicated could get passed. Excerpts from an interview with Sunil Jain and Shobhana Subramanian: Read more