RBB micro credit for women soon

KATHMANDU: Rastriya Banijya Bank (RBB), the state-owned commercial bank, is planning to start

micro-credit targeting rural women. The bank organized an interaction on ‘RBB in Empowerment of Sisters’ with women entrepreneurs and Constituent Assembly members here today.

Finance Secretary and chairman of RBB, Krishna Hari Baskota said RBB plans to empower women fulfilling the social responsibility of the state-owned bank. “We will launch ‘RBB in Empowerment of Sisters’ programme in the coming fiscal year,” he said.

“Women are laborious but marginalized, so RBB is planning to enhance their entrepreneurship skills,” said Manu Humagai, RBB board member. Without empowerment of women the dream of a prosperous Nepal cannot be realized, she added.

Nepali women do not have opportunities in economic sectors. According to data presented at ‘RBB in Empowerment of Sisters’, 89 per cent Nepali women are jobless and only 11 per cent are into formal economic activities or self-reliant. Women’s involvement in cooperatives and small and medium scale industries is growing of late. Of the 11,302 cooperatives in Nepal, 1,341 are run by women who have mobilized Rs 903.2 million. Likewise, women have invested Rs 1.7 million in cottage industries.

Hotel entrepreneur Ambika Shrestha urged for starting dozens of different micro-credit and training programmes for women. Agriculture and agro-based small and medium industries are best suited to women so they should be provided a variety of training and loans to make them self-reliant, she said. According to Shrestha, the new programmes should be based on skills and market access.

Nepal Cottage and Small Industry Federation vice-president Lata Pyakurel stressed on diversifying loan schemes so that women can get benefits in their particular fields of interest. “An easy scheme loan can encourage women to start their own business,” she said.

RBB has implemented three different programmes — Petty Cash for Rural Women, Micro-Credit Programme for Women and Banking for Poor — targeting women. These programmes have underscored the truth that women are more economy conscious and financial disciplined.