Bharatiya Mahila Bank inaugurated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
>> Prime Minister Manmohan Singh inaugurated the first branch of Bharatiya Mahila Bank today in the iconic Air India building at Nariman Point in Mumbai with an area of 5,000 sq ft space on the ground floor.
>> UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi was also present at the inaugural ceremony. Sonia Gandhi said that this was an appropriate tribute to the memory of Indira Gandhi, former prime minister on her birth anniversary.
>> Finance Minister P.Chidambaram recollected the promise he had made in his budget speech earlier this year to start a bank for women. Complimenting the start-up team that was guided by M.B.N.Rao, former chairman and managing director, Canara Bank, Chidambaram said that from today, the board of directors of the bank would be a 8-member all-women board. He hoped that the bank would remain not merely a symbol but the substance of empowerment of women.
>> The bank, which is the first bank started in the public sector space by an Act of Parliament (other banks in public sector were nationalised in two tranches in 1969 and 1980) begins with a capital base of Rs 1,000 crore.
>> The bank is being started with seven branches ( Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Guwahati, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, and Lucknow) initially. This will soon be followed by two other branches at Delhi and Indore – the delay is in deference to the elections being held there. The bank plans to reach a branch size of 25 in the next four months and thereafter add about 75 banks every year. In due course, overseas branches too will be opened, Chidambaram said.
>> The all-women’s bank will predominantly serve women, though deposits will be taken from men too. The credit growth is expected to be at a compounded annual growth rate of 16.5 per cent during the 2010-2030, while the deposit growth is expected to stay at 14.6 per cent for the 20 years period,” Chidamabarm said at the inauguration of the Bhartiya Mahila Bank on the eve of former and India’s first woman Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's birth anniversary.
>> Usha Ananthasubramanian, who was the Executive Director of Punjab National bank, will be the Chairperson of the bank.
>> According to the Finance Minister, only 28 per cent of the women in India have admitted of have opened a bank account and the per capita credit to women is 80 per cent lower. The all-women’s bank will focus on centres where working women population is significant, including self-help groups.