In a historic move, Pakistan and India’s banks are set to open their branches in each other’s countries soon, according to business giant Mian Mansha.
“Central banks of both the countries have completed the necessary work and are waiting for a green signal from New Delhi,” Mansha told Khaleej Times on the sidelines of an event in Dubai.
“Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has more or less processed our ap-plication, I have also met Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and he is very positive on it,” Mansha added.
To normalise trade relations, Pakistan and India will allow three banks to set up branches in the other country.
Read: Financial relations: Pakistan, India to open bank branches soon
In 2012, two Indian banks namely the State Bank of India and Bank of India were allowed to operate in Pakistan. While, state-owned National Bank of Pakistan and privately-owned United Bank Ltd were selected for running full banking operations in India once they obtained licences.
“When our government gave two names, NBP and UBL, to the Indian government, the business community in India asked for MCB Bank instead,” Mansha claimed.
MCB Bank was incorporated in Calcutta in 1947 but the bank’s headquarters is now located in Lahore. “We had more than 65 per cent of our trade flows with India before 1965.”
Read: Pakistan, India allow two banks each to operate across border
“We will have three branches in Mumbai, New Delhi and it will be the first foreign bank if it gets permission in Amritsar,” Mansha added.
However, he explained, “I think now it’s a little bit stuck on the political side. Hopefully, we get on track and it will be done soon. Sometimes politics take over economic things. We should have trade relationship that can take the shocks.”
Recently Pakistan and India have been involved in a verbal tirade souring relations between the two countries.
This article originally appeared on Khaleej Times.
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