All the scheduled banks and non-banking financial institutions (NBFIs) are allowed to expend a minimum of 30 per cent of their total CSR funds, instead of the previous 20 per cent, to facilitate healthcare supports, according to the guideline.
Spending on the environment, climate change migration, and adaptation have been increased to 20% of overall CSR money, up from 10% previously.
The central bank also said Bangladesh is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world, which faces adverse impacts of global warming and climate change.
The key development sectors of the country that are directly affected by climate change are health, energy, water supply, sanitation, industry (mining and construction), transportation, trade, tourism, agriculture, forestry, fisheries, environmental protection and ecosystem, goods and services, and food security.
“The Bangladesh Bank (BB) and other banks/NBFIs are trying to participate actively in an environment-friendly economy to protect the environment due to rapid climate change,” it added.
However, expenditure for the education sector remained unchanged at 30 per cent of the total CSR funds of the banks and NBFIs.
“We’ve emphasised healthcare and environment issues through boosting spending limits of the banks and NBFIs to ensure sustainable development of Bangladesh,” a BB senior official told the FE while explaining the main objective of the CSR guidelines.
He also said a lot of issues have been incorporated in the fresh guideline for supporting the vulnerable and underprivileged groups by promoting the social responsibility framework approach.
The central bank, on the other hand, has placed restrictions on CSR money funding in a variety of sectors, including branding and economic growth, as well as militancy and terrorism.
“Any suspected event or project of any institution/individuals, having CSR assistance and charged with abuse of CSR assistance, will be ineligible to access for any further assistance, and may be reported to law enforcement agencies for penal proceedings according to relevant laws and regulations,” the guideline warned.
The banks and NBFIs have been asked to preserve all records of CSR activities along with end-use monitoring documents for onsite inspection by the BB/internal and external audits.
“The banks and NBFIs must adopt a strong commitment to ensuring sustainable development through positive supports towards social, economic and environmental responsibility to the society and the country as a whole,” it noted.
On December 22, 2014, the BB issued the first guideline on CSR for the banks and NBFIs to ensure use of the funds through boosting monitoring and supervision.