"The PSL guidelines will be announced shortly. We have got comments, we will issue final instructions before the end of this month," Rajan told reporters at the customary post policy conference.
     
Rajan said the new norms will be as per the RBI's desire to make banking be ownership-neutral and these are the "path adjustment" which will ensure it happens.
     
"There should not be an unlevel playing field. What we are saying is that certain banks have certain expertise and therefore, let them trade their expertise through the PSL certificates. So, if some bank can do more of agri (lending), it can sell those certificates to the foreign banks," he said.
    
Under the priority sector lending (PSL), banks are mandated to lend towards certain marginal sections of the society. The percentage currently stands at 40 per cent of the overall lending, failing which the banks have to deposit the shortfall in the low-yielding Rural Infrastructure Finance Fund.
    
The foreign lenders, who are being nudged to convert into a wholly-owned subsidiaries, have not been able to meet various targets like those on agri lending due to a smaller network which is focused in the cities.
    
The RBI had first constituted a working group for a relook at the issue which recommended specific sub-targets for small and marginal farmers and micro enterprises and inclusion of certain specific types of social infrastructure within the ambit of priority sector lending.
    
It had also recommended introduction of tradable PSL certificates as another instrument to manage deficit/surplus amongst the players within the system.
    
Rajan, however, reiterated that the RBI does not intend to give anybody an upper edge in the market.
    
"The notion that we have to maintain this unlevel playing field is probably unwarranted," he said.

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