In Markets

Free branching tops banking reform plan

The government is considering far-reaching reforms in the banking sector, including giving banks the freedom to open branches in Tier-3 and Tier-4 cities, and granting 15 new licences to smaller banks for the first time in almost 11 years. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is learnt to have discussed several reform measures with Reserve Bank of India governor D Subbarao in the second week of October. They also discussed the idea of giving foreign banks full national treatment by suggesting they incorporate in India as wholly owned subsidiaries.

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