The UPA government is set to deliver its budget promise of giving India’s its first bank exclusively for women. The Union cabinet on Thursday would consider a finance ministry’s proposal to set up Bhartiya Mahila Bank with an initial capital of Rs 1,000 crore.
The bank will provide financial services to women and women self-help groups, at attractive terms, in a bid to encourage entrepreneurship, asset creation and large economic participation by the fairer sex.
The ministry has proposed to start the government-run bank with six branches — one each in north, south, east, west, central and north-east. More branches would be opened later.
However, the government is yet to decide in which cities these branches would come up.
Once the cabinet approves the proposal, the ministry would seek banking license from the Reserve Bank of India to start operation of the bank, to be staffed by women employees, by November.
However, the bank will accept deposits from both men and women.
Finance minister P Chidambaram had said in his budget speech that the bank would provide services to women at attractive terms.
The cabinet is also expected to consider two proposals for better management of food and horticulture products in the 12th five-year plan. One proposal is for a central scheme to develop cold chain infrastructure and the other for developing mega food processing parks.
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs will consider a proposal to grant Rs 400 crore to the consumer affairs ministry to create awareness in the 12th five-year plan.