Govt may merge Bharatiya Mahila Bank with another bank to be set up for women

In an ambitious initiative aimed at empowering women, the Indian government has proposed to set up an exclusive bank for women having branches across the country which may see merging of the Bharatiya Mahila Bank launched last year by the UPA government.

The initiative has been taken by Union Minister for Women and Child Welfare Maneka Gandhi primarily to fulfil the financial requirements of women and ensure their empowerment.

Asked to share details about the proposed bank, she said its broad contours will be deliberated upon in a meeting with representatives of top banks tomorrow.

Gandhi said Rashtriya Mahila Kosh, which was set up in 1993 to empower women, and the Bharatiya Mahila Bank (BMB) may be merged into the new bank to have just one institution to fulfil the funding needs of women.

"We will call it women's bank. There is already a women's bank in the Finance Ministry which has not worked and we have Rashtriya Mahila Kosh which too has not worked," Gandhi told PTI in an interview.

The previous UPA government had set up the first all-woman bank in November last year as a step towards empowerment of women. The bank was launched with a corpus of Rs 1,000 crore and currently it has around 28 branches across the country.

The Rashtriya Mahila Kosh was set up in 1993 under the Women and Child Welfare Ministry to facilitate credit support to poor women.

Listing empowerment of women as a priority area, Gandhi said setting up of the state-owned bank exclusively for women will be one of the priority initiatives of her Ministry to improve the plight of women across the country.

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