Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Monday said the government plans to acquire the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI’s) stake in National Housing Bank (HMB) and the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) by mid-2008.
The move is aimed at ensuring that that RBI does not own controlling stake in the institutions that it regulates.
“We plan to buy the RBI’s stake in NHB and Nabard by June 2008. Since these two are unlisted entities, there is no great urgency,” Chidambram said while replying to a debate on State Bank of India (SBI) (Amendment) Bill, 2007. Currently, the RBI owns 72.50 per cent in Nabard. NHB is entirely owned by the RBI.
The Lok Sabha on Tuesday passed the Bill to replace the Ordinance enabling transfer of RBI's shares in SBI to the central government. The government had approved the proposal for the transfer of ownership of the RBI’s shareholding in State Bank of India to the Centre in February.
The transfer of shareholding involved the entire equity held by the RBI in State Bank of India, comprising 59.73 per cent. of the total equity shares. The current year’s Budget had allotted Rs 40,000 crore for this purpose.