Budget Box: India to have first public sector Women’s Bank

Bank for the women, by the women and to the women…

To create a level playing field for women in banking sector, an initial capital of Rs 1,000 crore has been committed in the current Budget for the establishment of India’s first public sector Women’s Bank by the end of 2013.

The proposed bank would lend mostly to women and women-run businesses, support self-help groups and women’s livelihood and predominantly employ women. As per RBI, the women’s bank would be set up as a PSB and would not require separate guidelines.

Currently, there are all-women banks in the co-operative sector. For example, the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) set up a women-only bank in 1974. The bank is owned by self-employed women as shareholders, and policies are formulated by their own elected board of women workers.

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