The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is likely to issue guidelines for grant of banking licences to new players within 6 weeks, while those interested in setting up new banks, including giants like Reliance, Religare and L&T groups, have begun the groundwork.
According to finance ministry sources, RBI may release norms for new bank licences by January-end or early next month.
A number of large corporate houses, including Anil Ambani-led Reliance Group, financial conglomerates Religare and Shriram groups, engineering-to-technology major L&T group and Aditya Birla group, are said to be interested in entering the banking business depending on the regulatory framework.
Last week, noted economist and Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz said corporates should not be allowed to enter banking to avoid conflict of interest.
However, Indian experts say bank licences should be given to those who can safeguard consumer interest and ensure liquidity, irrespective of being a corporate house.