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India central bank to revise parts of Basel-III framework, other regulations

India's central bank plans to revise prudential regulations, including elements of the Basel III capital framework, even as it opposed the government's calls to ease regulations for risk weights and capital requirement for the country's banks.

In its Trends and Progress report issued Dec. 28, the Reserve Bank of India said it intends to issue revised prudential regulations, including guidelines on exposure and investment norms, risk management framework and select elements of Basel III capital framework for Indian financial institutions. Further, it will review its policy on the subsidiarization of foreign banks in India.

Meanwhile, citing recent calls for reducing the regulatory capital requirement for banks, the central bank warned that relaxing risk-weights or minimum capital requirements could have negative impacts on the economy.

The RBI noted that "the case for a recalibration of risk-weights or minimum capital requirements would need to be carefully assessed — frontloading of regulatory relaxations before the structural reforms fully set in and conclusive evidence on sustained improvement in [cumulative default rates] and [loss give defaults] is observed — could be detrimental to the interests of the economy."

Mint reported that the central bank's statement followed calls by the government to align its bank capital adequacy norms with those of Basel III to allow Indian banks to lend more.

In addition, the central bank called for legislative changes to withdraw RBI officials as nominee directors on the boards of public sector banks to avoid any conflict of interest.