The country's largest lender State Bank of India (SBI) said it will provide 0.25% of its annual profit for 2019-20 to fight the novel coronavirus outbreak in India. The fund used to fight Covid-19 pandemic will be spent from CSR funds, SBI said in a statement. The government has notified spending by companies to deal with the coronavirus outbreak as corporate social responsibility (CSR) activity under the companies law.
The bank will use this fund for various activities related to coronavirus mainly to support health care for underprivileged people in cooperation with health care professionals and industry, it said. Some of the initiatives will centre around promotion of healthcare, including preventive health care and sanitation and disaster management, it added.
"SBI takes a huge step in the fight against Coronavirus in India. The fund will be used for various activities related to COVID-19, mainly to support health care for underprivileged people," the lender said in a tweet.
“This is a time for the nation to be united. We at SBI will continue our support towards the people and communities of India amidst this critical period in the best possible way,"SBI chairman Rajnish Kumar said.
"I also urge all the responsible corporate citizens to come forward and not only take all precautionary preventive measures for entire staff, their families and people around but also contribute generously to support fellow countrymen who need financial help in these unprecedented difficult times," he added.
SBI has also opened an emergency credit line to meet any liquidity mismatch for its borrowers. The additional liquidity facility – Covid-19 Emergency Credit Line (CECL), will provide funds up to ₹200 crore and will be available till 30 June, 2020, SBI said in a circular issued on Friday.
The loan will be offered at an interest rate of 7.25% with a tenure of 12 months.
Over 400 people have been infected by coronavirus and at least seven people have died while thirty states and Union territories declared a lockdown by late evening on Monday to curb spread of infections.