Bharatiya Mahila Bank, launched in 2013, to merge with SBI
GN Bureau | March 21, 2017
NDA has smartly appropriated a slew of UPA initiatives that it had opposed when in the opposition – from Aadhaar to DBT and financial inclusion. However, here is one initiative the government has decided to do away with: the women’s bank.
P Chidambaram had announced setting up of a bank catering exclusively to women in his 2013 budget. Bharatiya Mahila Bank (BMB), the youngest public sector bank, was launched on November 19, 2013, with registered office in Delhi and nine branches.
For the UPA government, BMB was part of its efforts to increase financial inclusion and empower women – and try out this one vote bank as well.
“The vision of the Bank has been empowering women financially. Hence our tagline - Empowering women, Empowering India. Keeping this in view, the Bank has developed a lot of women-centric products to suit to all categories of women right from a hawker at the roadside to a CEO of a big Corporate,” says the bank on its website.
And it has not done badly either. Over its three years, the bank set up 103 branches, covering almost all the states. Its total business reached a figure of about Rs 1,600 crore (Rs 1,000 core in deposits and Rs 600 crore of advances). When the whole public sector banking is suffering from the bad loan and NPA crisis, this bank was earning profit every year, and its NPA was less than one percent.
Usha Ananthasubramanian, its first CMD, had told Governance Now: “It is a huge societal transformation, because women who have been even shy to come out are able to come to a bank and ask for an account. In Indian society the man may earn and be the breadearner but ultimately it’s the woman who runs the household. It is the woman who aspires for improving the standard of living for the family. It is the woman who plans to send children to a better school, have better food, better clothing.
“I would say it is a blessing in disguise for the woman. All these years her money was kept in a masala box. She was hiding it from the man who would otherwise take it away. Only thing she did not know was that her money could multiply. Her Rs 100 can become Rs 105 or Rs 1,000. She never knew that a bank could help.”
However, on Monday, an official statement from the finance ministry said the government had decided to merge the BMB with the State Bank of India (SBI) “to ensure greater banking services outreach to a larger number of women, at a faster pace. The objectives of affordable credit to women as well as propagation of women-centric products need to be quickly achieved through a wider network and lower cost of funds”.
The decision has been taken in view of the advantage of the large network of SBI among other things, the release said. In a way, the purpose of a women-centric bank is served better under the Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), since it is increasing financial inclusion at a record-breaking pace. Under PMJDY, preference is given to women for overdraft facility. As many as 73 percent of the borrowers, under the scheme in previous financial year, were women.
How much time do Indians spend talking on phone? It is on average 761 minutes per month, according to a new report from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). The telecom regulator released its report, titled ‘The Indian Telecom Services Performance Indicators: July-Septemb
Renowned cardiologist Dr Ramakanta Panda has said that the pandemic has exposed the inadequacy of existing healthcare systems and it is wrong to draw comparisons with Korea, a country with the population equal to that of a single Indian state. While speaking to Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Gove
The committee of experts appointed by the supreme court to deliberate with the stakeholders on the new farm laws held its first meeting here Tuesday, with one of its members saying that all stakeholders, including individual farmers, will be heard. Hearing a petition on the farm laws enacted
The nationwide vaccination campaign launched Saturday, the largest such exercise in the world, has started setting new benchmarks, with vaccines administered to 2,24,301 beneficiaries in the first two days. “India has vaccinated the highest number of persons on Day1 under its COVID19 v
The Maharashtra government has announced a spending of Rs 2,500 crore annually to develop infrastructure of state-owned distribution company Mahavitaran (MSEDCL). Out of the total amount, Rs 1,500 crore will be spent on energisation of conventional agriculture pumps and Rs 1,000 crore
India on Saturday began the massive vaccination drive against Covid-19, as prime minister Narendra Modi paid tributes the ‘corona warriors’. “Such a vaccination drive at such a massive scale was never conducted in history. There are over 100 countries having less than 3 cro