In a bid to further deepen financial inclusion in the country, the NITI Aayog has suggested the creation of a Dak Bank — postal bank — by merging the regional rural banks, among other recommendations to the government.
In a recent presentation to the Prime Minister’s Office and the Finance Ministry, the NITI Aayog has suggested the over 1.5 lakh post offices in the country should be made outlets for the proposed Dak Bank, sources said.
Further, the think tank has also suggested easier norms for granting bank licenses.
In another major recommendation, it has suggested privatisation of three banks, Punjab & Sind Bank, UCO Bank and the Bank of Maharashtra, said people in the know.
The suggestion comes at a time when a new disinvestment policy is in the works and the government is already considering bringing the banking and insurance sector under its ambit.
The likelihood of the government going for privatisation of public sector banks has also drawn criticism and protests for bank workers’ unions.
In the banking space, with the latest merger of public sector banks coming into effect in April, India currently has 12 public sector banks, down from 27 in 2017.
During the announcement of the ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ economic package in May, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said that the Centre will come up with a new Public Sector Enterprise Policy, and open up all the sectors to the private sector.