New Names in Fray for Banking License
The RBI has received four major applications for ‘on-tap’ universal bank licenses. Sachin Bansal, co-founder of Flipkart, and Pankaj Vaish, a veteran Citibanker, are among them. The other two are REPCO Bank and UAE Exchange and Financial Services Ltd.
Sachin Bansal’s Chaitanya Fin Credit has been trying for a full-services banking permit for a while. It is a microfinance institute with a unique position to tap the unbanked section of society. While Pankaj Vaish has vast banking experience which makes him suitable to head a bank.
Among the other two, REPCO's strategy to apply for a banking license doesn't appear to be clear. UAE Exchange and Financial Services could struggle to find favour if RBI chooses to promote a homegrown entity.
Given the profiles, Pankaj Vaish is appearing to be the strongest candidate. Sachin Bansal also has the potential to emerge as a dark horse due to his experience with MFIs. RBI has been liberal in issuing banking licenses to MFIs in the past; Bandhan Bank, Credit Access Gramin, Equitas etc., being the case in point.
A Word of Relief on Remdesivir
Biocon Executive Chairperson Kiran Mazumdar Shaw believes that the supply of Remdesivir could be restored in 4-6 weeks as manufacturers have increased the production.
The government has issued licenses to many manufacturers to produce Remedisivr. Kiran Shaw led Biocon is one among them.
Explaining the reasons behind the current supply shortage, she informed that the manufacturers were under the impression that COVID-19 is contained after the first wave. Hence, they slowed down the production.
However, they have increased the production again and they should be able to match demand by May.
No More Extreme Lockdown, Please
The World Bank has cautioned India against imposing a harsh lockdown. The global financier suggested that it could have a harsh impact on the economy.
The World Bank has also highlighted that the pandemic has created an unequal impact across the countries. In emerging nations, including India, the pandemic has hit the most vulnerable sectors. It has depleted the income levels and made business conditions unfavourable for the MSMEs.
The World Bank has termed the impact of the pandemic as unequal from country to country. It has hit the developing countries particularly hard. The same is not the case for developed countries like the USA which has enough capacity to counter the economic impacts of the pandemic.