First women’s bank in country gets Cabinet nod

First women’s bank in country gets Cabinet nod

PM likely to mention launch in his I-Day speech

Paving the way for the country’s first women’s bank,the Union Cabinet on Thursday approved the setting up of the Bharatiya Mahila Bank. “The proposal has been cleared. This will ensure that the bank launch meet its deadline,” said a source after the Cabinet meeting.

With an initial capital of Rs 1,000 crore,the bank would provide dedicated financial services to women in general and women self-help groups (SHGs).

Though a first for India,several other countries such as Pakistan and Tanzania,have set up similar banks earlier. While the first women’s bank was set up by Pakistan way back in 1989,the Tanzania Women’s Bank was inaugurated in 2009.

Originally announced by finance minister P Chidambaram in the Union Budget 2013-14,it is expected that the launch of the bank would also find a mention in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s Independence Day speech next week. “I hope to obtain the necessary approvals and the banking licence by October,2013,” Chidambaram had said at the time.


To be set up as a public sector bank,it has also received mandatory approvals from the RBI. The finance ministry is expected to soon appoint its chairperson soon.

The Mahila Bank will start with 6 branches — one each in north,south,east,west,central and north eastern part of the country.

However,it hopes to set up 778 branches with 55 lakh customer accounts over the next seven years.