Economy

Rashtriya Mahila Kosh revamp on cards, Minister convenes meeting with bankers

K. R. Srivats New Delhi | Updated on November 25, 2017 Published on July 29, 2014

The Modi-led Government wants to revamp the Rashtriya Mahila Kosh (RMK) and give it a fresh impetus so as to expand its activities in interior India.

RMK was set up in 1993 under the Societies Registration Act for the socio-economic empowerment of women.

The Ministry for Women and Child Development — which oversees RMK — is now toying with the idea of converting the RMK into a women’s bank, official sources said. .

To brainstorm the future agenda for RMK, Maneka Gandhi, Cabinet Minister in charge of the Women and Child Development Ministry, has convened a meeting with a select group of bankers here on July 31.

Top bankers who are likely to attend the meeting include Arundhati Bhattacharya, Chairperson of State Bank of India, Naina Lal Kidwai, country head of HSBC India, K.V. Kamath, non-executive Chairman of ICICI Bank, and Usha Ananthasubramanian, Chairman and Managing Director, Bharatiya Mahila Bank.

The operating model currently followed by RMK is that of a facilitating agency wherein it provides loans to NGO-MFIs, termed as intermediary organisations which on-lend to self-help groups of women.

Currently, RMK extends micro-credit to women in the informal sector without any collateral and in a hassle-free manner for income-generating activities.

The entire effort behind revamping RMK will be to reach out to the women beneficiaries in the six lakh villages of the country.

Bharatiya Mahila Bank

Any move to convert RMK into a bank will have implications for the recently set up Bharatiya Mahila Bank (BMB), which was an initiative of the erstwhile UPA Government.

The upcoming meeting on RMK could also discuss the future role of BMB under the new BJP Government.

Already, BMB, which is a Government-owned women-focused bank, has rolled out 23 branches across the country. This bank was inaugurated in November 2013.

>Srivats.kr@thehindu.co.in

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Published on July 29, 2014
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