Mumbai: The Government of India has asked US authorities to grant early approval for state-run lenders State Bank of India and Bank of Baroda to open more branches, finance minister P Chidambaram said.
The US Federal Reserve board had recently given the go-ahead to private lender ICICI Bank''''s plan to upgrade its representative office into a full-fledged branch, Chidambaram said in a written reply in parliament.
"The two other proposals of State Bank of India and Bank of Baroda for opening additional branches in US have not yet been approved," he said.
"The delay in SBI and BoB obtaining licence for additional branches in the US has been taken up by the government and the Reserve Bank of India with their counterparts in the US," he said.
Meanwhile, the finance minister said, the asset quality of scheduled commercial banks has shown satisfactory improvement during the last few years wherein gross non-performing assets have reduced from 8.8 per cent of gross advances as of March 2003 to 2.7 per cent as on March 2007.
He said the US has offered to cooperate with India on sharing its experience in providing financial education so that the public policy on financial education and awareness in India could be strengthened.