Cabinet Secretary conducts a high level panel meeting over privatization of banks

The Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba conducted a meeting with leading a high level panel to crush multiple regulatory as well as administrative issues in such a way that the proposal can be placed with the group of ministers for the approval on disinvestment or Alternative Mechanism (AM) and hence, approaching a step closer to the privatization of two public sector banks.

According to sources familiar with the matter, after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s announcement in the Budget Speech, 2021, several names of banks have been suggested by the NITI Aayog for privatization to the Core Group of Secretaries on Disinvestment led by Cabinet Secretary in the month of April.

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The panel after tying up all loose ends will be sending the names of PSU banks that have been shortlisted to the AM for consideration. After receiving a clearance from AM, it will go to the Prime Minister for the final indication.

Secretaries in the department of Economic Affairs, Revenue, Expenditure, Corporate Affairs and Legal Affairs, Secretary of Administrative Department, Department of Public Enterprises, Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) secretary were the members of the panel to attend the meeting.

The panel also looked into issues in terms of protection of interests of bank’s workers which is possibly going to get privatized.

Reportedly, Central Bank of India and Indian Overseas Bank are the probable privatization candidates. On February 1, the FM had said, “Other than IDBI Bank, we propose to take up the privatization of two public sector banks and one general insurance company in the year 2021-22.”