iconimg Sunday, August 30, 2015

Press Trust Of India
New Delhi, March 31, 2013
Suggesting a level-playing field for financial sector entities, a government-appointed panel has made a strong pitch for converting State Bank of India (SBI), Life Insurance Corp (LIC) and few other firms into ordinary companies under the Companies Act. The existing laws, which provide special privileges to entities such as SBI and LIC should be either amended or repealed “to create a level-playing field between regulated entities, irrespective of their ownership structure,” it said.

These recommendations form part of the Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission (FSLRC) report, which was submitted to finance minister P Chidambaram earlier this month.

Besides SBI and LIC, the other financial institutions, which are governed by special laws include associate banks of SBI, EXIM Bank, National Housing Bank, NABARD, SIDBI and General Insurance Corp.

“The undertakings of all statutory institutions should be transferred to ordinary companies incorporated under the Companies Act, 1956 and their regulatory treatment should be identical as that applicable to all other financial companies,” the FSLRC report said.

The legislative backing confers special privileges to such institutions, it said.