Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh inaugurates the Bharatiya Mahila Bank in Mumbai

Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh inaugurates the Bharatiya Mahila Bank in Mumbai

The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh inaugurated the Bharatiya Mahila Bank in Mumbai today.  He also inaugurated 7  branches of the bank through a remote device simultaneously at Chennai, Bangalore, Guwahati, Kolkata, Lucknow and Ahmedabad.  Speaking on the occasion the Prime Minister said, the setting up of the Bharatiya Mahila Bank is a small step towards the economic empowerment of our women and it is also a reflection of the government’s commitment to this cause. He said the Bank will fulfil the objective with which it is being established, namely financial inclusion of women and providing them equal and easy access to financial services, Dr. Singh said,  he was sure that it will particularly benefit women form the less privileged sections of our society.  The prime Minister said the fact that it will be run largely by women will serve as an example that given the opportunity, women are capable of taking on challenging tasks.  The Prime Minister also outlined the various schemes  of the government to empower women.

Speaking  on the occasion the Chief Guest, Smt. Sonia Gandhi, UPA Chairperson, said the Bharatiya Mahila Bank was being inaugurated on the most appropriate day of the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, who was herself a symbol of women’s empowerment.  She also said the bank would empower women and the self help groups which were mostly run by women.  Smt. Gandhi said the Bank would be a catalyst for women’s economic development.

Speaking on the occasion the Finance Minister, Shri P. Chidambaram said the inauguration of the women’s bank was the fulfullment of a promise made by him on 20.2.2012.  He also announced that an 8 member all women members joined the board of the bank today.  He also said empowerment of women was an article of faith for the UPA government and the institution of the bank was not just a symbol of empowerment but the substance of empowerment.  He also said the Bharatiya Mahila Bank was a universal bank which would provide all the services like any other bank.

At the beginning of the programme, the UPA Chairperson gave away welcome kits to the first 5 customers of the bank, while  the Prime Minister presented sanction letters to the first 5 loan applicants of the bank.

The Governor of Maharashtra, Shankaranarayanan, Chief Minister of Maharshtra, Prithviraj Chavan, Union Agriculture Minister, Sharad Pawar, Heavy Industries Minister, Praful Patel New and Renewable Energy Minister, Dr. Farooq Abdulla, Minister of State for Finance J.D. Seelam were all present on the occasion.

The Bharatiya Mahila Bank proposes to have 25 branches by March 31, 2014. Following the Finance Minister’s announcement the all-women bank has been set up with an initial capital of Rs. 1,000 crore in the public sector.


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