Essay-22 : All Women Bank in India: Is it really needed in India?

While writing such an essay, candidates must understand as to why a developing country requires such an ‘Exclusive Bank for women’. Unlike the women who are living in Arab countries, those that have inhibitions and timidity can prevent them to go get whatever they want on their cultural barriers. India doesn’t have any such problem. Women in India can go to banks and make their voice heard loudly. Then what is the need of ‘Exclusive Women Banking’? Let’s understand some key points here about women bank. Please Read on…

Essay-22 : All Women Bank in India: Is it really needed in India?

All Women Bank in India: Is it really needed in India?

The plan to set up “public sector banks exclusively for women” has been announced in the budget 2013. This plan is envisaged to empower women in India financially. This is the most inviting and laudable move of the government. This exclusive bank is meant – to the women, for the women and by the women. The bank of this sort is likely to be set up by October 2013.

All women Bank is a bank that lends mostly to women and women-run businesses that supports women SHGs (self-help groups) and women’s livelihood, that employs predominantly women, and that addresses gender related aspects of empowerment and financial inclusion. It is commonly agreed by the bankers themselves that there is no doubt women are discriminated against in the loan giving process.

According to a 2012 World Bank study, only 26 per cent of women in India have an account with a formal financial institution. A bank for women will also help empower them further, because it will lend only to women and will employ mostly women. This move itself can be considered as another source of employment generation for women in India. It will encourage lending to various women groups. The focus should be on the financial inclusion of women. The government hopes to launch the bank in October with an initial capital of Rs 1,000 crore.  Many Indian women do not control cash at home; nor do they have the collateral for loans. They rarely own land or immobile assets and tend to be disproportionately employed in the service sector where earnings are lower. The analysts of women banks are expected to study the logistics of the operations to help improve the status of women in India.

According to the 2012 annual report of the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises only 13.72 percent of small enterprises are managed by women. There is also the Trade Related Entrepreneurship Assistance and Development (TREAD) programme, under which the government grants 30 percent of the total project to women seeking to set up business, through non-governmental organizations. The advent of women banks can provide more avenues to disburse the required funds for the Indian women to be future business entrepreneurs.

On the other side, it is argued that the government can easily achieve its objective of encouraging women entrepreneurs through the 26 existing public sector banks, which have branches across the country. The opposition party thinks that this is just a mere ploy to woo women with general elections a year away. Some critics of this proposal feel that if the government can hope to bring the unbanked into the banking fold with the help of these banks, what stops it from using banking network to advance the cause of women? Moreover, banks reach millions of women through eight million self-help groups, of which 6.3 million are exclusively for women.

There will be challenges in implementation, but if India is able to make it a success, it would be the first of its kind in the world. It will also focus on the lending priorities of the bank while catering to women to ensure that it remains a commercially viable proposition. Moreover, in rural areas women will be comfortable going to an all-woman branch.

It will employ predominately women which addresses the gender related issues and empowerment and financial inclusion.

see also, Should Capital Punishment be abolished in India?


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