Pak, India set to open banks across border in ‘historic’ move

Karachi, July 5 (ANI): Pakistan’s and India’s banks are set to open branches in each other’s countries soon in a historic move aimed at normalising trade relations, business tycoon Mian Mansha said.

He revealed that the central banks of both the countries had finished the necessary work and were awaiting a nod from New Delhi, reported The Express Tribune.

He said that the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had almost processed their application, adding he had also met Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and received a positive response from him.

However, Mansha said that the decision was stuck on the political side but added he hoped that it will get on track and will be done soon.

He also stressed on developing a trade relationship that can absorb shocks.

The two neighbours will allow three banks to set up branches in their respective territories.

Mansha said when the Pakistani government suggested National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) and privately-held United Bank Ltd (UBL) to New Delhi, the Indian business community asked for MCB Bank instead. The bank was incorporated in Calcutta in 1947 but its headquarter is now located in Lahore.

He added that Pakistan had more than 65 percent of its trade flowing in from India before 1965.

According to Mansha, three Pakistani branches will be set up in Mumbai, New Delhi and Amritsar.

In 2012, two Indian banks, including the State Bank of India and Bank of India were permitted to operate in Pakistan, while state-owned NBP and privately-held UBL were allowed to run in India. (ANI)

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