To make all-women bank a reality by October, the Finance Ministry has approached the Reserve Bank for clearance to set up the country’s first such bank.

“The committee set up to prepare the blueprint for all-women bank has submitted its report to the Finance Minister. We have sought in-principle approval from RBI for all women bank,” Financial Services Secretary Rajiv Takru told PTI.

The first all-women bank wholly-owned by government is expected to start operations from November 2013 through six branches spread across the length and breadth of the country.

Finance Minister P. Chidambaram had said the bank will be inaugurated in November.

“Initially we should start with at least one branch in each major region of this country, South, West, East, Centre, North and the North-east. So that will mean immediately we should start with six branches,” he had said.

The bank mostly manned by women would start with an initial capital of Rs 1,000 crore.

The proposed bank will lend mostly to women and women-run businesses, provide support to women Self Help Groups (SHGs) and their livelihood.

Moreover, it will employ predominately women which addresses the gender-related issues and empowerment and financial inclusion. However, it will take deposits from men and women both.

Mr. Chidambaram proposed setting up of the country’s first all-women bank while presenting the Budget on February 28.

Subsequently, in March, the Finance Minister constituted a committee of bankers and other experts to prepare a blueprint for all-women bank.

The committee was headed by former Canara Bank chairman M.B.N. Rao. Its members were M.D. Mallya, former CMD of Bank of Baroda, Jayshree Vyas, Managing Director SEWA, Arundhati Bhattacharya, MD & CEO of SBI Caps, Usha Ananthasubramanian, Executive Director, Punjab National Bank, and K Ramakrishnan, Chief Executive of Indian Banks’ Association.

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