The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to issue permits to IDFC and Bandhan, the country's largest micro lender based in Kolkata. After the Election Commission gave its clearance to grant of new licences, RBI's committee of central board met to deliberate on the two names placed before it and decided to give its in-principle approval. IDFC and Bandhan will get a year and a half to begin operations, failing which their licences could be cancelled. Some entities that did not qualify for a full-fledged banking licence in this round could again apply in future rounds or apply for differentiated licences under the proposed framework. A total of 27 entities applied for licences.