'Mahila Bank to have a branch in every state by end of FY14'

'Mahila Bank to have a branch in every state by end of FY14'

Finance Minister P Chidambaram today said a branch of Bharatiya Mahila Bank, the country's first all-woman bank, would be set up in every state by the end of this fiscal.

"I assure you in the next 4-5 months before end of this year, you will have a branch of this bank in every state," he said after inaugurating the registered office of Bharatiya Mahila Bank here.

"And then we will rapidly roll out branches. In the meanwhile, we will make our own model through which this bank can reach thousands and thousands of customers," he said.

The bank will have 25 branches by the end of current fiscal, he said. Besides Delhi branch, Indore branch of the bank also started its operation from today. Overall, it now has 9 branches.

On spreading the reach of the bank, the Finance Minister said: "We will have to make our own model, to think out of the box to reach out to thousands and thousands of customers. We have to consider whether we can use technology (to spread network). I am sure the board will reflect on these issues."

Noting that Bharatiya Mahila Bank is not the symbol of empowerment, it is the substance of empowerment, he said, empowerment of women cannot happen without financial empowerment.
Coinciding with the 96th birthday of late Indira Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh inaugurated the first of its seven branches in the presence of UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi on November 19 in Mumbai.

It was inaugurated in Mumbai as the model code of conduct was in force at the time in Delhi ahead of assembly polls.

The idea of an exclusive lender for women was mooted at the Jaipur Congress plenary last year.
Mahila Bank with staff strength of 100 at the moment has drawn on a majority of cadre from state-run lenders. Besides, it has recruited 110 freshers in officer cadre.

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