Bharatiya Mahila Bank, India’s first women’s bank, will not be launched from its headquarter Delhi, but from Mumbai because of the model of conduct for Delhi elections.
Finance Minister P Chidambaram will inaugurate the bank on November 19 in Mumbai.
The United Progressive Alliance government had wanted to inaugurate it in Delhi on November 19, the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, but the Election Commission did not give the permission as Delhi goes to polls on December 5.
Chidambaram will launch six branches - Kolkata, Guwahati, Chennai, Bangalore, Lucknow and Mysore- from Mumbai through a video link. Jaipur and Indore are also ready but will have to wait for the launch owing to the code of conduct for the Assembly elections there.
“All work has been completed. But whether we can do it on November 19, whether we can do it in Delhi or in other city... are matters my secretary is talking to the Election Commission,” Chidambaram had told reporters last week.
Bharatiya Mahila Bank’s treasury operations will also be carried out from Delhi.
The bank, to be headed by Usha Ananthasubramanian, executive director of Punjab National Bank, will start with 250 employees. Earlier, the finance ministry had asked public sector banks to provide 125 officers for deputation to the women-focused lender. Most of these officers are being taken at one level above in the women’s bank, but their experience here will not be considered for promotions.
In Budget 2013-14, the finance minister had announced setting up of the women’s bank with an initial capital of Rs 1,000 crore. The bank’s blue print was prepared by a five-member panel, headed by former Canara Bank chairman and managing director M B N Rao.
The bank’s key objective is to focus on the banking needs of women and promote their economic empowerment.