Impact of Covid Outbreak on Poor

Banks asked to spend more under CSR programmes

Staff Correspondent | Published: 03:03, Apr 27,2021

 
 

A file photo shows relief-seekers waiting on a street island near the National Press Club in Dhaka as the COVID-19 outbreak pushed the poor to streets to receive food from donors. The Bangladesh Bank on Monday asked banks to allocate additional funds for the corporate social responsibility spending for the year 2021 so that the poor and distressed people affected by the fresh wave of Covid outbreak could get financial supports. — New Age photo

The Bangladesh Bank on Monday asked banks to allocate additional funds for the corporate social responsibility spending for the year 2021 so that the poor and distressed people affected by the fresh wave of Covid outbreak could get financial supports.

The central bank on the day issued a circular in this regard, stating that the coronavirus infection has increased again in Bangladesh as it has happened in the other countries.

The fresh surge in Covid infection cases has pushed the poverty rate up and that is why the need for spending banks’ CSR funds for the distressed, jobless, vulnerable, homeless and helpless people has become vital, the BB circular said.

To support these people, banks should help people for fulfilling their daily essential needs, health expenses along with health safety items and for providing support to the jobless people for their livelihood, the BB circular said.

To carry out a special CSR programme, banks will have to allocate additional 1 per cent of their respective net profits of the year 2020 in addition to the existing CSR allocation for the year 2021.

Banks are asked to report the BB’s sustainable finance department by May 15 on the transfer of the additional allocation for CSR spending.

Besides, banks are also asked to submit a report on the implementation of the special CSR activities to the sustainable finance department by July 30, 2021.

Additional CSR spending for the year 2021 would be adjustable in the next three years.

The allocated amount must be spent for the people living in slums, and for the jobless and homeless people in the city corporations for fulfilling their daily essentials, health expenses along with health safety items.

Besides, hard-core poor, temporarily jobless and marginal people, who have become unable to lead normal life due to the coronavirus outbreak in the districts, would be eligible to get the special CSR allocation.

Fifty per cent of the special allocation must be disbursed among the people in city corporation areas and the rest 50 per cent must be spent for the people in districts, upazilas and unions.

The fund must be disbursed by the district administration and by the top ranking non-government organisations or micro financial institutions.

In 2020, the BB instructed banks to provide essential medical equipment for the treatment of coronavirus-infected patients and protective materials to the doctors, nurses, ward boys and cleaners as part of their corporate social responsibility.

In 2014, the BB instructed all banks to spend on CSR activities.

A central bank report on CSR spending showed that the scheduled banks spent Tk 516.97 crore in January-June of the year 2020 against their spending of Tk 239.33 crore in the same period of the previous year.

The banks’ spending for CSR was Tk 648 crore in 2019, which is 28 per cent less than that of the previous year.

The figure was Tk 905 crore in 2018 and Tk 744 crore the year before.

 

 

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