ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Corrective Steps towards Sound Banking

The Indian economy is facing some serious macroeconomic problems due to rapidly rising inflation and interest rates, a growing trade deficit and an uncertain global environment, which involves risks of sudden adjustments in the currency value and corrections in financial markets. In this situation, questions about the banking sector's ability to respond effectively to the unwinding of macroeconomic imbalances remain. This paper suggests some necessary short- and medium-term corrective measures to stabilise and improve the soundness of the Indian banking sector to face these challenges.

Basel II Norms

Instead of perceiving it as a global initiative, the Indian banking sector needs to look at Basel II as an opportunity to keep its own house in order. It is a necessary framework to improve the stability and resilience of our rapidly evolving banking industry, currently at a critical phase in its expansion. However, it is unfortunate that the current Basel proposals do not explicitly incorporate the mutual benefits of international diversification for advanced as well as developing countries. There is also a fear that too much regulation under Basel II will adversely affect the risk appetite of Indian banks and their lending to credit-starved sectors. It will be a major challenge for the RBI to maintain a healthy credit momentum amid this tighter risk-sensitive framework.

E-banking: Challenges and Opportunities

E-banking has the potential to transform the banking business as it significantly lowers transaction and delivery costs. This paper discusses some of the problems developing countries, which have a low penetration of information and telecommunication technology, face in realising the advantages of e-banking initiatives. Major concerns such as the 'digital divide' between the rich and poor, the different operational environments for public and private sector banks, problems of security and authentication, management and regulation; and inadequate financing of small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) are highlighted.

WTO and Indian Banking Sector: The Road Ahead

Increasing globalisation of trade under the WTO has provided India with a new opportunity as well as a necessity to strengthen her efforts at reforming her domestic financial sector. The real issue before India is how to obtain the best deal for herself in the current round of negotiations while seeking to reform her financial sector. In this paper the authors have identified six major issues that will come up for consideration in this round of WTO negotiations and made recommendations for India's response strategy by appropriately drawing lessons from the global experience in the opening up of the banking sector.
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