Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s Independence Day speech to the nation next week is likely to mention the promise to empower women through a bank meant largely for them.
To this effect, the Union Cabinet is expected to take up the proposal to set up the Bharatiya Mahila Bank in its meeting this week.
“The Cabinet note has already been circulated and we have sought exemption from the mandatory waiting period before it can be placed before the Cabinet,” said a senior government official, adding that the proposal should be cleared latest by next week. The proposed bank has already been cleared by the finance ministry’s Expenditure Finance Committee and has also received mandatory approvals from the Reserve Bank of India, the official said. Announced by finance minister P Chidambaram in Budget 2013-14, the bank will have an initial capital of Rs 1,000 crore and would provide dedicated financial services to women in general and women self-help groups (SHGs) in particular.
The bank is expected to be launched by November this year and the finance ministry is also expected to soon appoint its chairperson.
The government is also planning to seek Parliament nod for allocation for setting up of the bank. In a written reply in the Rajya Sabha, minister of state for finance Namo Narain Meena today said the government has finalised the proposal to start the Bharatiya Mahila Bank with 6 branches.