Govt clears Banking Bill, retains voting right at 10%

The Union Cabinet on Thursday decided to retain the voting rights in the private sector banks at 10% and felt it could be raised progressively to 26% as suggested by the Standing Committee.

The decision, according to the sources, was taken by the Cabinet while approving changes in the proposed the Banking Laws (Amendment) Bill 2011.

It has been decided that cap on voting rights in the private sectors, which is currently at 10%, could be raised to 26% in a phased manner.

In December last year, the Parliamentary Standing on Finance had recommended raising voting rights of investors in the private sector banks but with a cap of 26% with a view to maintaining a balance between economic control and promoting corporate democracy.

The Banking Laws (Amendment) Bill 2011, introduced in the Lok Sabha in March 2011, had proposed providing voting rights to investors commensurate with their shareholding in the private sector banks.

At present, the voting right is capped at 10 per cent irrespective of the share holding in the private sector banks.

The Committee in its report on the Banking Laws (Amendment) Bill 2011 tabled in the Lok Sabha had suggested the RBI must ensure that regulatory mechanism is adequate and strictly complied with to prevent any misuse of the provision of increasing the limit.

It had recommended that RBI, being the nodal agency in the banking sector, should conduct due diligence of "fit and proper persons/entities...".
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