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‘India Post can apply again for bank licence under new norms’

The finance ministry has said India Post could again apply for a bank licence under new guidelines being prepared by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

“RBI is in the process of preparing fresh guidelines based on which applications on new bank licences are to be considered. India Post will be free to apply under these guidelines,” said a ministry statement, in response to a report published in Business Standard.

India Post had applied for a bank licence under RBI guidelines issued on February 22, 2013. The Bimal Jalan committee, which screened the applications, had suggested that RBI should discuss India Post’s application with the finance ministry before taking a final decision on it.

Of the 25 applicants, RBI had given in-principle approval to only two entities – IDFC and Bandhan Financial Services. “India Post was not considered under these guidelines due to its special nature,” the finance ministry said.

On the issue of capitalisation of India Post, no view has been taken by the ministry nor has the communication been sent to RBI, stated. India Post requires Rs 1,800 crore to start banking operations. It had sought an initial capital of Rs 623 crore from the finance ministry, while the rest it planned to raise from other sources.

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