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PM to inaugurate maiden Mahila Bank in Mumbai today

By PTI
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PM to inaugurate maiden Mahila Bank in Mumbai today
New Delhi, Nov 19: The Election Commission has allowed the launch of the nation's first all-women Bharatiya Mahila Bank today but has asked the government not to open its branches or do its publicity in poll-bound states.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Congress president Sonia Gandhi are expected to be present at the inaugural ceremony of the bank in Mumbai today, coinciding with the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Finance Minister P Chidambaram will also attend.

The government had wanted to launch the bank in Delhi but changed its plan in view of the model code of conduct in force in the capital ahead of the December 4 elections.

Once inaugurated, seven branches of the bank would become operational across the country, including in Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad and Guwahati. The Delhi and Indore branches will be opened after the Assembly polls in the states are over.

The bank's headquarters will be in Delhi

Headquartered in Delhi, the bank proposes to have 25 branches by March 31, 2014.

The Finance Minister had announced the setting up of the all-woman bank in his Budget speech this year. "Women are heads of many banks today, including two public sector banks. But there is no bank that exclusively serves women. Can we have a bank that lends mostly to women and women-run businesses? I think we can," Mr Chidambaram had said.

In June, the Reserve Bank of India gave its in-principal approval to the bank, which will be set up with an initial capital of Rs. 1000 crore.

Last week, the government appointed Usha Ananthasubramanian as the bank's Chairperson and Managing Director.

PTI

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