Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)- Expenditure of the country’s banks in the CSR sector has increased by over seven times in the last five years, Bangladesh Bank (BB) governor Dr Atiur Rahman said.
The BB governor was addressing as the chief guest an inaugural ceremony of Prime Bank Nursing Institute set up under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) at the Kuril in the city on Saturday.
The nursing institute is an initiative of the Prime Bank Foundation, a concern of Prime Bank Ltd.
Bangladesh Nursing Council’s Registrar Shuriya Begum was the special guest at the inaugural ceremony, which was addressed, among others, by Prime Bank Chairman Shirajul Islam Mollah, its Managing Director Ehsan Khasru, Chief Executive Officer of Prime Bank Foundation Iqbal Anwar and the bank’s Deputy Managing Director Ahmed Kamal Khan Chowdhury. 
The Prime Bank Nursing Institute was established with an aim to provide high standard medicare services to all classes of people of the society. The institute will give three-year diploma training to build international standard nurses among all classes of people in the country at lowest cost.
It is non-profit institute, the governor said, and expressed his hope that the Prime Bank authorities would consider the poor family’s women for the nursing training at free of cost or token cost, and that would be real CSR.
The Prime Bank’s initiative would be an imitable example for other banks, he said.
In 2008, country’s banks’ direct expenses in CSR was BDT 410 million, which was BDT 3.05 billion in the last year 2012, Dr Rahman said, adding that 32 percent of the 2012 CSR expenditure was in education sector while 15 percent in health sector.
Other CSR sectors, where the banks spent money, include nutrition, poverty reduction, renewable energy, disaster management, sports, helpless freedom fighters’ welfare, women development, literature, culture and green banking.
In 2012, Prime Bank spent BDT 300 million, out of which BDT 90 million was expended in the health sector in the year; its many CSR activities include Dhanmondi eye hospital, Dr Rahman said and expected the bank to continue its CSR activities especially in the health sector in a greater scale.
Wishing success of the Prime Bank Nursing Institute, he requested all the banks to take more and more CSR activities with strategic working plan in different sectors including education and health for the disadvantaged people.
Saying that the central bank laid more stress on the CSR activities by the banks as part of their responsibilities to the society, the governor said the BB recently opened its ‘green banking and CSR department’ to monitor the banks’ CSR works and make annual reports on such activities.
BBN/SSR/AD-15Apr13-6:00 pm (BST)