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Women’s bank to expand

Jorhat, July 26: Konoklota Mahila Urban Co-operative Bank, the only all women’s bank in the co-operative sector in the region, is looking to expand its activities to Dibrugarh and Nagaon districts.

The bank posted a Rs 13.32 lakh net profit for the financial year 2013-14, which is more than a 45 per cent increase over the previous year’s Rs 7.28 lakh. The bank also declared a six per cent dividend for its 7,533 shareholders for the year 2013-14.

The annual general meeting of shareholders was held today at its Gar Ali branch office here. Bank managing director Lakhimi Baruah informed shareholders that a proposal was taken to expand its activities to the neighbouring districts after successfully opening a branch at a rented room given by the ASTC in Sivasagar on June 2, 2013.

The bank, which started its activities on February 26, 2000 in a rented room at Unnayan Bhawan here, now has four branches, including one at Mariani. Baruah said according to RBI rules, the share capital of each branch would have to be Rs 50 lakh per branch whereas the total share capital for four branches at present stood at Rs 36.15 lakh, which was far less than the stipulated amount for the existing four branches.

The bank had written to the registrar of Co-operative Societies, Assam, seeking amendment of bylaw 8 whereby the bank could increase its share capital from the authorised Rs 50 lakh to Rs 10 crore.

“Permission has been granted by the registrar but on condition that one per cent of Rs 10 crore (Rs 10 lakh), be deposited to the government through treasury challans. This is too big an amount for a bank like ours. We will face losses if we pay this amount,” Baruah said.

The shareholders adopted a resolution to ask for exemption of the amount given the fact that the bank was an all- woman one which disbursed loans for the empowerment of women at a nominal rate of four per cent or so.

Baruah said though customers from other districts had approached them to open branches in the respective districts, it was not possible as the rules stipulated expansion only in adjoining districts.

“From Jorhat we have expanded our activities to Sivasagar and Golaghat. Now we can expand to Dibrugarh adjoining Sivasagar and Nagaon adjoining Golaghat,” she said. Bank chairperson Shakuntala Devi appealed to the shareholders to increase their stakes in the bank so that the share capital increased.

The RBI has accorded the bank an ‘A’ grade this year for strictly following all parameters and guidelines laid down by the apex bank and by the Co-operative Societies Act.

The bank also boasted of a 93.34 per cent loan recovery, disbursal of Rs 282. 90 lakh as loans, and a working capital of 100.90 lakh.

It adopted an estimated budget of Rs 1,220 lakh and an ambitious Rs 20 lakh net profit for the financial year 2014-15. This year it exceeded the estimated budget of Rs 10 lakh by Rs 3.32 lakh.