Banks Must Spend CSR Funds Fully: Pratip Chaudhury, SBI Chairman

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INDIACSR News Network

THIRUVANTHAPURAM: State Bank Group Chairman, Mr Pratip Chaudhury, has said that banks should strive to spend fully the prescribed share of net profit for corporate social responsibility work.

He said this while speaking at a function at the headquarters of associate bank, State Bank of Travancore (SBT), where he e-launched the latter’s 1,000th office at Palakkad.

Earlier, Mr Chaudhury also chaired SBT’s annual general meeting.

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) activity occupied a pride of place in the schemes of parent State Bank of India too, he said.

The Reserve Bank of India has directed that every bank set apart one per cent of its net profit for CSR activity. But this was mostly observed in its breach.

“When I joined the bank, the net profit was Rs 9,100 crore. Ideally, Rs 91 crore should have been spent under this head.

“But in actuality the expenditure amounted to only Rs 22 crore,” Mr Chaudhuri said.

This was way below par, and should not have happened. But this has since been corrected, he added.

During the just concluded financial year, SBI managed to spend the entire amount it had earmarked for CSR activity, Mr Chaudhuri said.

But he also observed that banks should shed the proclivity to commit CSR funds just to the immediate neighbourhood of their headquarters.

“Banks should expand their CSR footprint outside of their home base,” he said.

The year just passed has been a good year for SBT and it must look around for opportunities to ensure itself meaningful presence in the social milieu.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr P. Nandakumaran, Managing Director, SBT, said community service banking was getting better involvement at the branch level.

SBT ‘social circles’ have been working at more than 500 branches, with a focus on education and geriatric care.

For the bank, the 1,000th office was a magic number. This included 920 branches, in 13 States and three union territories. The rest were offices involved in some banking-related activity.

Earlier, Mr Pratip Chaudhuri e-launched the ‘Gold Point’ branch of SBT at Palakkad under the Thrissur zone, and addressed the staff there ‘live’ on video call.

Also present on the occasion was Mr Shyamal Acharya, Deputy Managing Director and Group Executive (associate banks and subsidiaries), SBI.

The Gold Point branch handles gold loans and sales of gold coins, and Palakkad was SBT’s 15th in the chain.

Mr Chaudhuri also handed over keys and flagged off a school bus and ambulance donated by SBT to two institutions as part of its community banking service.

The recipient institutions are the Chinnamma Memorial School, Poojappura, Thiruvananthapuram, and the Shalom Charitable Trust, Mavelikkara.

Keywords: CSR Funds, Pratip Chaudhuri, SBI chief, Corporate Social Responsibility, Net Profit, CSR Footprint, Banks CSR obligations, State Bank of Travancore, SBT, Corporate Social Responsibility of  Bank, Corporate Social Responsibility of Banks in India, CSR of Banks in India, Indian Bank CSR, Shalom Charitable Trust, Mavelikkara

(The Hindu Business Line)

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