The Jorhat district has earned the glory of having its first and only all women co-operative bank in the state of Assam. The bank functions like any other banks but runs exclusively by only women. So far the bank is operational in Jorhat (undivided), Golaghat and Sivasagar district of Assam.
The only all women bank of Assam the “Konoklota Mahila Urban Co-operative Bank Limited” is registered under Co-operative Societies Act 1949.and came into existence on May 22, 1998 was named after Swahid Konoklota Barua, the martyr of Quit India Movement from Gahpur, Tezpur district of Assam who sacrificed her life for independence of India. However, the Reserve Bank of India granted license to Konoklota Mahila Urban Co-operative Bank Limited on 16.02.2000 to commence banking business.
The primary objective of the bank is women empowerment and financial inclusion and financial literacy through co-operative banking system of its members i.e. women of the weaker section of the society. Its objective is to organise Self Help instead of profit.
The Konoklota Mahila Urban Co-operative Bank Limited brings employment and self employment opportunities for women, mobilises the unorganised resources to country’s economy and increases per capita income of the weaker section of the society at large.
The bank is an insured bank under Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation. The bank is running on CBS, CTS and under NACH, NPCI membership. The Audit classification of the bank is “A” class since 2004.
The Board of Directors of the bank is consisting of 15 efficient directors including two professional directors rendering sincere efforts to gear up the bank. Dr. Jayanta Madhab, prominent economist guides the bank as technical adviser. Presently, Shashanka Shekhar Goswami has been working as Advisory Director of the bank.
The bank is financing women and Self Help Groups under NBCFDC scheme of Rs.375.00 lakh at 4% interest rate in suitable and beneficial schemes in agriculture and allied, non farm sector, micro and small industries etc.
To encourage the developmental activities of Konoklota Mahila Urban Co-operative Bank Limited, the North Eastern Development Finance Corporation Ltd (NEDFi) entered into share participation with the bank. The North East Small Scale Industries Association (NESSIA) is also a share holder of the bank and conducted various training programmes for SHG leaders and members on economic activities.
The bank gets financial support in term of borrowing from SIDBI, RMK, NEDFi and NABARD for various micro finance schemes for women and Self Help Groups to meet the objective of the bank.
Catering primarily to the needs of women customers from the down trodden section of the society, the bank started more on grass root economy and has given more emphasis on micro finance, small savings and micro insurance to grow the savings habits, meet the credit needs and an assurance of life risk cover respectively which are very essential. The borrowing capacity of the member has been raised from thousand to fifty thousand till date at a lowest category.
The bank provides opportunity to open an account with Zero balance and make deposit any minimum amount without hesitation. The bank provides all kinds of deposit schemes including daily deposit for the common customers at a small amount like Rs.20/-.
The customer friendly, efficient, dedicated and sincere employees of the bank are main strength of the bank. To make them prepared Reserve Bank of India provides training for them and the Board members from time to time.
The bank has been able to attract many laurels under the present 5th time Chairperson Smt. Shakuntala Devi.The State Government has recognized the financial institution as an ideal co-operative bank. On International Women Day i.e. 8th March, 2016, Ministry of Women & Child Development, Government of India confers Nari Shakti Award to Konoklota Mahila Urban Co-Operative Bank Ltd, Assam for exceptional contribution towards empowerment of women. Smt. Lakhimi Baruah M.D. and initiator of the Bank received “Devi Ahilyabai Holkar Award” from the then Honourable President of India Mr. Pranab Murkherjee at Rashtrapati Bhawan, New Delhi on behalf of the bank. Government of Assam, Co-operation Department confers the first best performing Co-operative society award as “Successful Co-Operative Bank of the State”.
Konoklota Mahila Urban Co-operative Bank Ltd. will be a state level Mahila Bank of Assam having its at least one branch at all district headquarters with a controlling office at the capital of the State Dispur. It will serve the 50% of population specially the common women folk as targeted by the promoters. Moreover, the bank is interested to run a youth counseling centre and family counseling centre of its own and take part in women and child development programmes through its own SHG in the area.