Social contributions and CSR of Bangladesh Krishi Bank
Subject: Banking | Topics:

Introduction

Social responsibility is a concept well known in the corporate world and beyond that. All over the world have practiced only profit making actions at past but not for long as the enterprise started to develop complexities and wideness in size and actions so was their reach getting bigger and bigger. As every person has his own social responsibilities towards the society so does the business firms. The idea is that, the business has social obligations and above and beyond making a profit that is corporate social responsibility. However, it is regretful that though internationally it is being practiced widely, Bangladesh is still lagging behind. The difference between the world standard and the practice in Bangladesh shows the lacking here and the scope for development. This report has been prepared as a requirement of the Project work. The report was based upon the CSR practices of different banks in Bangladesh. CSR is a means of discussing the extent of any obligations a business has to its immediate society; a way of proposing policy ideas on how those obligations can be met; as well as a tool by which the benefits to a business for meeting those obligations can be identified.

Corporate Social Responsibility is not only an act for humanity but also to provide good working environment to an organization’s employees, to pay just remuneration, to give regular leave, to care as a human beings and to care environment of the society. Business organizations in the society are accountable to implement different socially desirable activities not only for stakeholders concern but also for different external parties. CSR reporting can be a significant part in the financial reporting while it provides information to different stakeholders and as an additional part social report would provide information relating to whole environmental concern to society. The system of providing information may vary from company to company, country to country but the common media of providing information is financial statement. However, there does not exist a universally accepted theoretical framework for corporate social and environmental reporting. Corporate social responsibility is not the only ethical dilemma that financial institutions face in an atmosphere of corrupt corporate practice but also these institutions are concerned with commitment for sustainable development but execution of such development procedural function’s through compliance with CSR guidelines is difficult. Currently in Bangladesh, CSR is a matter of self-interest for the corporate. There is a crying need for an in-depth study into the quality, quantity of corporate social disclosure and identification of areas for future improvement so that transparency can be ensured. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) reporting focuses vary by business, by size, by sector and even by geographic region. The area of CSR reporting is quite big and it includes all the good practices that increase the business profitability and can preserve interest of all stakeholders. Bangladesh is a developing country and thus compared to global competitiveness and demand, the CSR practices and standards are being implemented in Bangladesh poorly. We are yet go a long way and is still lagging behind. For better and enhanced performance CSR rules and reporting implementation is thus now need, not merely demand.

In the contemporary globally competitive market companies must portray themselves as socially responsible companies. Through globalization companies pursue growth, and active involvement in socially beneficial programs provides competitive advantages to the company in pursuing such goals. Companies operating in multiple nations are often required to play a significant role in social issues of the respective nations, otherwise government regulations, environmental restrictions, labor exploitation issues and more can cost companies millions of dollars. Under these circumstances, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) can increase both long-term profitability and sustainability of the company as well as enhance the reputation of the organization. The last three decades have seen a mounting pressure on companies to engage in CSR. Among most global companies, some simply view CSR as a costly hindrance, while a few have managed to use CSR methodologies as a strategic tactic to obtain public support for their presence in the global markets. Nevertheless, this helps the companies to sustain a competitive advantage by using their social contributions. Researchers around the world, over the past few decades, have reported positive, negative, mixed and neutral impact of CSR on Corporate Financial Performance (CFP). Building upon this premise, the objective of this study is to draw a conceptual framework for examining the direction of the linkage between corporate social responsibility and corporate financial performance and apply the framework on the banking sector in Bangladesh in order to examine the impact of CSR on CFP in this sector.

Corporate organizations are playing an important role in social development through sharing their profit for many benevolent and philanthropic activities under the rubric of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). CSR has become a common word highly discussed and prioritized by the national and international organizations, development sectors, professionals and scholars, and global business partners. Generally, social responsibility means the works, which will bring about the overall betterment of the mass people in the society. In this context, CSR concept has a promising humane future as it addresses and captures the most important concerns of the public regarding business and society relationships. Business in a capitalistic world is all about making profits. CSR, however, challenges such corporate attitude and push them to be more humanistic and oblige them not to forget the social responsibilities to fighting many odds at the societal level. As every person has his own social responsibilities towards the society so does the business firms. Business is an inseparable and embedded part of the society. Besides conducting business activities and pursuing economic gains, business houses also have several other roles and responsibilities towards society such as the social and environmental responsibilities and business contributions that would benefit the society at large. It is mandatory for companies to conform to the legal responsibilities as prescribed by law. So, organizations have no alternative but to comply with the basic law of the land. The idea is that, above and beyond making a profit, the business has social obligations that must be carried out through corporate social responsibility. It has been generally accepted that corporate social responsibility is an inevitable matter, which was adopted globally to ensure sound development of the world. Sustainable development is not possible without evenhanded support of corporate world. Hence, corporate society has a linchpin role to open up a lion share opportunity in every pros and cons of any society. It is regretful, however, that although CSR activities are forcefully implemented internationally, Bangladesh is still lagging behind. Although private banks like Dutch-Bangla Bank Limited& others in Bangladesh is a pioneer organization which is contributing to ensure its social responsibility from the beginning to present day, suspicions prevails that they depart from the spirit of the concept of CSR today. To them, it is a business tool or policy or an advertisement, which ensures maximum productivity, reorganizations, benefits and other facilities of their organizations.

In order to achieve the objectives of this study both qualitative and quantitative research methods have been used. Data from both primary and secondary sources were collected. Secondary sources include reports, documents, magazines, books, journals, various newspapers, and subject related websites and research documents. Literature review covered various issues such as definition and nature of corporate social responsibility, business ethics, organizational mission and vision, various social and environmental responsibilities and sustainable development, respect for human rights, health and professional safety in Bangladesh. Primary data were collected through conducting surveys from the target respondents such as beneficiary groups and different stakeholders of BKB.

Objectives of the Study:

Objectives of the studies are also to examine current status of prevailing laws/rules and how far these are being implemented and reported in the annual report of Banks in Bangladesh with major focus on BKB’s CSR activities. Besides this,the objectives regarding this paper are to find out the scenario regarding the CSR practice in the banking sector of Bangladesh with major focus on Bangladesh Krishi Bank.

1.To throw light on the concept of CSR.

2.To find out CSR practice of banking sector in Bangladesh with major      focus with major focus on Bangladesh Krishi Bank

3.To recommend some necessary steps to boost CSR activities and their reporting.

Scope of the Study:

The scope of this study was based on the information available from the direct interview of employees engaged in BKB as well as other banks. The analysis and interpretation prepared in this report was conducted on the executive of banks. The analysis included all the statistical analysis and their interpretations. Vertical and horizontal analysis was also included to show the overall condition of CSR and its relation with different variables. Some suggestions and recommendations were also made in this report, as this was the part of our study. To analyze and evaluate this paper I have concentrated on different CSR activities of BKB as well as other banks through the employees of different banks.

Methodology

The study is exclusively a descriptive research on corporate social reporting practices of Bangladesh Krishi Bank based on a small sample size. Thus, the study is purely based on the information from secondary data sources. The data collected for the purpose of the study involves the examination of annual reports for the year 2011 of Bangladesh Krishi Bank. In order to understand CSR disclosure by banking companies, annual reports are considered appropriate documents for analysis. Annual reports are a common and popular means of communication to stakeholders and they command the actual situation of the company. To analyze the extent of social responsibility reporting by Bangladeshi Banking companies, annual reports constituted the main primary source. Guthrie and Parker (1990), Gray, Owen and Adams (1996), Deegan and Rankin (1997) and other scholars studied corporate social reporting practices using annual reports as the key source of information. Additionally, it is documented that annual report is the most widespread and accepted document for corporate communication with different parties in Bangladesh.

Limitations:

There are some limitations that I have faced in preparing this report.  Basically I faced difficulties in collecting data from the different sources.  To collect primary data some individual showed no interest in interviewing them.  For secondary data, I faced problem of unorganized record of documents keeping by different sources. Preparing the report I faced some difficulties which are

  • Lack of proper information in the websites of the Banks.
  • Lack of necessary information in the official publications of Bank companies.
  • Inexperience and time constraint are the other limitations.
  • Secondary data were collected from the Annual Reports which may contain biased information.
  • This project has been prepared with limited resources. Due to this reasons the justifications stated may not reflect the actual scenario.

Corporate   Social   Responsibility: Definitely social responsibility includes the responsibility of social people, groups, societies, and business organization. Here raises the question: why is there more interest in, and debate about the social responsibility of business than about the social responsibility of the other institutions? It is of course legitimate to raise the issue of social responsibility of business. But we hear rather less about the social responsibility of, say, the churches, the media, trade unions, the professions, universities, or even the government. When people collectively organize themselves in organizations of one kind or another, do those impersonal legal entities really acquire social responsibilities, which differ from those of other collective entities? Many people are uneasy about the profit motive, suspecting that profits emerge only from exploitation. They fear that free enterprise encourages greed and selfishness. They are reluctant to accept the logic of Adam Smith’s famous theory of invisible hand, which holds that business people the general interest more effectively by pursuing their own interests than by directly trying to ‘do good’. I suggest that, this is why we are here little about the social responsibilities of churches, charities and so on. Business, in contrast, is assumed to have a problem about its social responsibilities because it is driven by profit-motives. So it can be said that, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) means that companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and in their interaction with business relevant groups on a voluntary basis. In general, CSR is characterized by the following aspects:

•        Voluntary initiatives going beyond legislative requirements and    contractual obligations
•        Activities to benefit the employees, business relevant groups (including the society as such) or the environment
•        With a positive contribution to the individual target group while minimizing negative effects on other (including environment)
•        Regular activities rather than one-time-events (i.e. related to business strategy vs. ad hoc) CSR is not only about fulfilling a duty to society; it should also bring competitive advantage. Through an effective CSR program, companies can:
•        Improve access to capital
•        Sharpen decision-making and reduce risk
•        Enhance brand image
•        Uncover previously hidden commercial opportunities, including new markets
•          Reduce costs
•        Attract, retain and motivate employees

The origin of CSR

The history of CSR is almost as long as that of companies. Concerns about the excesses of the East India Company were commonly expressed in the

Seventeenth century. There has been a tradition of benevolent capitalism in the UK for over 150 years. Quakers, such as Barclays and Cadbury, as well as socialists, such as Engel’s and Morris, experimented with socially responsible and values-based forms of business. And Victorian philanthropy could be said to be responsible for considerable portions of the urban landscape of older town centers today.

In terms of activism aimed at companies perceived as acting against the general interest: The first large-scale consumer boycott? England, in the 1790s over slave harvested sugar. (It succeeded in forcing the importer to switch to free-labor sources.)In 1612, English jurist Edward Coke complained that corporations “cannot commit treason, nor be outlawed or excommunicated, for they have no souls.”

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a worldwide-accepted development on how companies can manage their business processes to produce an overall positive impact on society and environment. CSR represents care for social and environmental issues with a profitable business perspective: the so-called ‘People – Planet – Profit’ philosophyDefinition of CSR

CSR is a concept whereby financial institutions not only consider their profitability and growth, but also the interests of society and the environment by taking responsibility for the impact of their activities on stakeholders, employees, shareholders, customers, suppliers and civil society represented by NGOs the process of communicating the social and environmental effects of organizations’ economic actions to particular interest groups within society and to society at large.

 Views of Social Responsibility:

There are two views of social responsibility. Those ar

• The Classical View
• The Socio economic view

The Classical View

The view that management’s only responsibility is to maximize profits.

The Socioeconomic View

This is the modern view of today’s global business and economy. In this view management’s social responsibility goes beyond making profit to include protecting and improving society’s welfare.

The  major occupation of the people of Bangladesh is “Krishi”. Krishi is a Bengali word which means “Agriculture”. About 85% of the population depends directly or indirectly on agriculture which contributes a significant portion to GDP.

Bangladesh Krishi Bank (BKB) has been established under the Bangladesh Krishi Bank order 1973 (President’s Order No 27 of 1973). BKB is a Banking Company under the Banking Company Act-1991. Its Head Office is located at Krishi Bank Bhaban,83-85 Motijheel Commercial Area, Dhaka-1000, Bangladesh.

The primary objective of BKB is to provide credit facilities to the farmers for the development of agriculture and entrepreneurs engaged in development of agro-based and cottage industries.

Bangladesh Krishi Bank was established under BKB Order`1973 with the objective of strengthening rural economy by extending credit support to agricultural and agro-based sectors. In consideration of the importance of Micro-Credit and with the objective of generating employment as well as encouraging social development BKB has undertaken several Micro-Credit programs of its own and also in collaboration with local and foreign agencies. The programs have been designed to cover all segments of poor population whether skilled or unskilled such as small and marginal farmers, landless labourers, destitute women, disabled, unemployed youth and rural artisans etc.  About 1417047 beneficiaries have been provided with Tk. 14469.90 million since its inception (upto 30 September,2011).

Considering the needs of the target groups since late seventy’s BKB has been implementing a series of Micro-Credit programs out of which 10 programs have recently been completed and 31 programs are in operation at present. These diversified micro-credit programs are being implemented by BKB.

Despite a long term trend of decline of share of agriculture sector in GDP, the sector still accounts for about 48 percent of the total employed persons calling for greater institutional and policy supports. Besides, the recent global food crisis on account of natural calamities, increased demand for food, use of crops to produce bio-fuel in the developed countries and protectionist policy adopted by the food exporting countries highlights the urgency of increasing domestic food production and attaining food security through increased investment in this sector and, timely and adequate supply of agricultural inputs including agricultural credit. Keeping in view, the importance of credit for ensuring sustainable growth in the agriculture sector, annual program based indicative disbursement targets of credit by the lending banks are designed. The banks themselves taking into consideration expected demand for credit for the year, previous years’ disbursement and the availability of fund set yearly targets of disbursement.

In recent time, agricultural and rural finance program seems to have boosted up as the private commercial banks began to participate along with the State-owned Commercial Banks (SCBs). The private and foreign banks came forward in distributing agricultural credit through their branch network in collaboration with NGOs, in addition to the regular agricultural credit disbursement by state owned banks and organizations.

 We understand that when a person is poor, they are poor for a whole number of reasons that compound the disadvantages they face – a poor landless family struggles to secure an income against rising food costs, frequent natural disasters and the threat of ill health and malnutrition. They also lack access to markets and decent supplies, credit, savings and insurance, safe water and sanitation, and a quality education for their children. Bangladesh Krishi bank work with those people and work for economic profit maximization for the country rather than earn financial profit for their own.

CSR Pillars:

“CSR Pillars” were used to benchmark the state of CSR in a country. Each parameter was further assessed against globally acknowledged standards, evaluation tools, evolving CSR definitions and indicators, as well as learning through interaction with international banking business and CSR banks

“ CSR Pillars”

CG    Corporate Governance of Banks:

BE     Banking Business Ethical Principles

EC     Environmental Compliance

SC     Social Compliance

DR    Discloser and Reporting

EP     Product Integrity

CC    Giving and Community investment

SH     Stakeholder involvement

FP     Financial Performance

SS     Supply Chain security

Corporate Governance of Banks:

The Bank is guided in accordance with the policies and principles of the Government of the Peoples Republic of Bangladesh. BKB has an authorized capital of Tk. 15,000 Million (Taka Fifteen thousand  Million) only and paid up capital of Tk. 9000 Million (Taka Nine thousand Million)  only which is fully paid by the government. The Bank started commercial functioning since 1977 to generate more loanable fund from the idle rural and urban savings and invest them for the betterment of our economy.

The Bank operates its function through its 998 branches (except Rajshahi Division) of which 858 are rural and 140 are urban. It has 15 foreign exchange (Authorized dealer) branches. In the field level the Bank has 8 Divisional,21 Chief Regional and 30 Regional offices  for close supervision of the branch activities. For smooth operation, s a part of internal control and compliance system, the bank has also 56 field level audit offices of which 5 at Divisional and 51 at Regional levels. In the Head Office the Bank has 4 Divisions headed by General Managers and 28 Departments including Local Principal Office and Training Institute headed by  Deputy General Managers. The existing strength of Bank’s manpower is 10275 against the approved strength of 13680  as on 31 December, 2012.

The Bank has a Board of Directors comprising of 11 members. The Board is headed by a Chairman. The Directors represent both public and private sectors and are appointed by the government. The Board Chairman is generally an experienced professional/ex-professional who has wide acceptability and rapport.

The Managing Director is the Chief Executive of the Bank. He is appointed by the government.

The Bank has two posts of Deputy Managing Directors and are appointed by the Government.

The Bank has 14 posts of General Manager. They are also appointed by the Government.

In the Head Office there are 4 Divisions each headed by a General Manager. The divisions are:

  • Administration Division
  • Planning & Operation Division
  • Accounts Division and
  • Loan Recovery Division

Under the control and supervision of the above four divisions 28 departments are working in the head office headed by Deputy General Managers.

Banking Business Ethical Principles:

  • Policy :

The code of conduct is offered as a guideline for the activities of bank officials (agents. attorneys, directors, officers and employees) of Bangladesh Krishi  Bank That will promote, train and encourage adherence in business and personal affairs to a high ethical standard. And follow the SSR 2008 (Services rules for the bankers) . Reward and punishment is given to them according to rule and regulations stated in  the SSR 2008

  •  General Ethical Standards:

                   A. Gifts and Gratuities,

                   B. Exceptions to the Prohibition of Accepting Gifts

                   C. Confidential Information

                   D. Preferential treatment

                   E. Community Involvement

                   F. Political Involvement

                   G. Personal Conduct

                   H. Advertising

A.   Gifts and Gratuities:

1. Prohibit from offering, giving, seeking, or accepting anything of value for themselves or a third party with the intent to corruptly influence or reward .
2. Records of offerings or value from the customers shall be disclosed before higher officials.

 B. Exceptions to the Prohibition of Accepting Gifts :

– Gifts based on family or personal relationships independent of business of the bank.
– Benefits which would be paid the bank
– Loans from banks or financial institutions
– Advertising or promotional material of reasonable value
– Discounts or rebates on merchandise or services that do not  exceed those available to others.
– Civic, charitable, educational, or religious organization awards for recognition of service and accomplishment.

C.   Confidential Information:

–         Such information obtained by Bank officials should be kept confidential and should be shared only with those who have a legitimate right and need to know.

– Information shall not be used for the purpose of advancing any private interest or of making personal gain.

– Special care shall be exercised to prevent the misuse of confidential information between departments

Preferential treatment:

– Such information obtained by Bank officials should be kept confidential and should be shared only with those who have a legitimate right and need to know.

– Information shall not be used for the purpose of advancing any private interest or of making personal gain.

– Special care shall be exercised to prevent the misuse of confidential information between departments.

E. Community Involvement :

1.  The Bank’s continued success is dependent upon involvement in worthwhile community affairs, and the Bank encourages its Officials to participate actively in all matters directed to the public interest.

2.   Among the areas in which the Bank can make a valuable and needed contribution to the genera! welfare is that of charitable contributions. The Bank is dedicated to the making of charitable contributions in such amounts and to such charitable organizations as shall be determined from time to time.

F. Political Involvement:

It is the Bank’s policy to adhere strictly to the law affecting its participation in political processes. The gift or the gratuitous use of the Bank’s funds, property, equipment, supplies, and facilities, directly or indirectly, to or for the benefit of any political party, candidate, or political committee is absolutely prohibited.

G.       Personal Conduct

 The Bank’s image and reputation can be no better than that of its Officials and the Bank expects all of its people to conduct their personal lives in such manner as not to bring discredit upon the trust and respect of the bank. The

reputation that the Bank will enjoy will be attributable in large part to the fair-dealing, friendliness, and moral rectitude of the Bank’s people.

H. Advertising :

Policy is to employ advertising media in such a manner that assertions and claims will be honest, truthful, and in keeping with fundamental ethical principles.

  •  Conflict of interest :

                   A. General Statement

                   B. Self Dealing

                   C. Outside Employment

                   D. Outside Business Interest

                    E. Outside Directorship

                   F. Individual Transaction with Customer

                   G. Conflicts Between Customers

                   H. Appearance of conflict

A. General Statement:

The Bank expects every Official to be constantly vigilant to perceive the dangers inherent in situations that give rise to a conflict of personal interests with those of the Bank. Perfect avoidance of all conflicts is not possible, but the Bank expects the kind of loyalty and ethical consciousness that will motivate an Official to recognize a conflict of interest when it occurs, and if it cannot be reasonable avoided, to disclose it and endeavor to bring about its satisfactory resolution.

B.    Self Dealing :

The Bank, in its own non-fiduciary right, shall not buy or sell any property or services from or to a Bank Official without the expressed approval of the Bank’s highest authority. This prohibition shall not apply to regular transactions conducted on comparable terms with those accorded other customers of the Bank

C.   Outside Employment :

1.   Except as otherwise agreed employment by the Bank of an officer or employee shall be deemed to be “full-time”. The Bank recognizes the fact that an officer or employee may be justified under some circumstances in accepting casual outside employment to be performed after working hours if no conflict with the Bank’s interest is involved.  However, Managing Director should make the determination of the policy of such outside employment through the employee s Supervisor. Under no circumstances may an officer or employee work for another bank of financial services company.

2.  No Bank Official shall own directly or indirectly an interest in any business or enterprise if such ownership would tend to influence adversely any decision of said Official on behalf of the- Dank. Ownership by the spouse- or unanticipated child of the Official shall be doomed to be an indirect ownership by the Official.

3.  No Bank Official shall accept or engage in an activity, business or employment, either during or after working hours which would conflict with the Bank’s interest or diminish the ability of the Official to render to the Bank the full, loyal and undivided service which is contemplated in his/her employment by the Bank.

D. Outside Business Interest :

Bank Officials are prohibited from self-dealing or otherwise trading on their position or accepting from one doing or seeking to do business with the Bank, a business opportunity not available to other persons, or that is made available because of such Official’s position with the Bank.

E.Outside Directorship:

Bank Officials are prohibited from taking or otherwise trading on their position or accepting from one doing or seeking to do directorship outside.

F. Individual Transaction with Customer :

Bank officers and employees should avoid lending or borrowing personal funds from non-lending institution customers of the Bank, not only because of the potential influence on an officer or employee’s judgment and decisions, but also because the grant or denial of a loan request imposes an unfair burden on the customer. Accordingly, borrowing by an officer or employee from a customer of the Bank shall be limited to recognized lending institutions, except with the prior approval of the Chief Executive Officer.

G.Conflicts between Customers :

The Bank cannot control or prevent conflicts between its customers; however, the Bank’s policy is to maintain awareness, to the extent possible, of known conflicts between customers and of the inherent dangers of participating therein.

  •  Implementation of policy :

                   A. Supervision and control

                   B. Dissemination of Statement

                   C. Monitoring

Implementation of Policy

A. Supervision and Control :

The adoption and implementation of all Bank policies stem from the authority of the Board of Directors. The Board has authorized the Bank’s Executive Committee to perform the functions of an Ethics Committee to interpret the provisions of this Code, to make any necessary changes therein from time- to time, to monitor compliance therewith, to advise the staff of any apparent conflicts of interest and to do all other things helpful to the effective administration of this Code on a continuing basis.

B. Dissemination of Statement

Since the regulations of the Bank Bribery Law require it, and since a statement of policy and ethics can be no better than the knowledge and. awareness of it by those to whom it’ is directed, a copy of this Code of Conduct shall be made available to every Bunking Official. The Official shall acknowledge and agree to the Code in writing. A copy shall be available to every new Official upon his/her employment or affiliation with the Dank, and a written acknowledgment and agreement shall bo obtained from him/her at that time.

C. Monitoring

The Bank urges all its Officials to cultivate an awareness of circumstances that affect the banking industry and the need to define standards of conduct that contribute to the well-being of the Bank and assist the Bunk in     complying with occupied rule and conduct and applicable as requirements.

Environmental Compliance

Environmental compliance means that the bank makes health, safety and environment considerations priority in its banking business decision-making and process. BKB followed Environmental Compliance while taking any decision of business.

Social Compliance

BKB to achieve the following objectives:

*        To create employment opportunities through income generating                  activities.
*          To empower the rural women to establish their own rights.
*          To improve the living standard of the rural people.
*          To alleviate poverty of the poor people.
*          To make easy access to institutional credit facilities and resources.
*          To mobilize rural savings.
*          To make optimum utilization of rural resources.
*          To engage inactive human resources of the rural areas in productive   economic activities.
*          To engage rural people in development process of the country.
*          To eliminate exploitation done by the moneylenders.

Crop Loan

Out of total annual allocation of Loan portfolio, 60% is earmarked for Crop financing. The Credit program covers all the seasonal crops produced in the country.

The loan is disbursed as per norms set by the Bangladesh Bank. The rate of interest for this sector is 8%. The rate of interest may however, vary from time to time.

Both the landowner and sharecroppers are normally the target group for this loan. Marginal farmers are also eligible for the loan.

  • Crop loan is sanctioned on annual basis.
  • Credit passbook is issued to each borrower.

Horticulture & Fruit Production:

  • Nursery development ( fruits, useful trees, flower, unbury culture, spices etc production & marketing )
  • Banana, papaya, guava, pineapple, melon, water melon, beetle nut etc
  • Mushroom cultivation
  • Aromatic and fine rice
  • Lettuce, capsicum, broccoli, French bean & other vegetables and promotion of export market
  • Spices (onion, garlic, ginger, turmeric etc)
  • Baby corn
  • Fruit production (mango, jackfruit, litchis, lemon, guava, pineapple, banana etc )
  • Floriculture (import substitutes & exportable rajanigandha, ganda, rose, glandules, orchid, Christmas tree, bonsai etc)
  • Import alternative fruit production (orange, grapes etc)

Tea :

Tea is one of the major exportable items of the country. BKB is the exclusive financing institution providing credit to this sector. The Bank generally provides two types of loan – Tea production loan and Tea development loan.

  1. Production Loan is for short-term basis. Rate of interest is 12%.
  2. Development loan is term loan. Rate of interest is 11%.
  3. Trading loan – Short term loan. Rate of interest is 13%.

 

Rubber plantation

BKB is the premier financial institution for rubber plantation.
This is one of the import substitute products.

DR   Discloser and Reporting:

Reports are used as means of management (creating and documenting systems). The main benefits that come out as a result of maintaining a reporting system is the case of comparability of the Banks Social and environmental performance. Like Banking ethics Principles, reports also reduce conformance cost by providing quick views on operational procedures and their out comes and also to monitor on going progress. BKB maintaining full discourser and reporting to the concern authority and to the public. BKB maintaining a Web site as well.

A Salient feature of BKB on going Micro-Credit Programs under poverty alleviation is given below:

1.  Credit program for the landless and Marginal Farmers: This program has been launched with BKB`s own fund in 1992-93 financial year through its all branches. Landless and marginal farmers get short-term credit under this program. Persons/ Peasants having not more than 1.50 acres of cultivable land and annual income of highest Tk 25000/- are eligible for getting credit under this program. After formation of groups and obtaining training the group members get credit without any collateral security. But they have to hypothecate the goods and assets created by the loan. In lieu of collateral they have to take responsibility as guarantor for the recovery of loan within the group. The present Interest rate is 10%.   52 equal weekly installments are fixed and the recovery will be taken place accordingly. About 474181beneficiaries have been provided with Tk. 4698.40 million since its inception (upto 30 September,2012).

2.Beef fattening Joint Program:

  This is a bank`s own financed program. Bank launched this program in 1994. The main objective of this program is to fill up the deficiency of animal protein in the country as well as creation of self-employment for poor and unemployed people living in the villages. Under this program a person can get a loan amounting up to Tk.25000/- for 5 calves against guarantee of a bank official / local elite. The rate of interest is 10%. The loan is to be repaid with interest in one installment within one year. About 89025 beneficiaries have been provided with Tk.1481.30 million since its inception (up to 30 September, 2012).

3. Swanirvar Credit Program: Bank has been implementing swanirvar credit program without collateral security since 1979. Employment creation for the landless and marginal farmers, increasing their standard of living, creation of social and ethical values, eradication of illiteracy, providing creation of health and family planning services etc are the objectives of this program .The beneficiaries under the program are landless, rural poor & destitute having maximum 0.40 acres of cultivable land and maximum annual income is Tk.20,000/-. 212 branches of 31 districts (regions) are involved in this program. The beneficiaries have to form groups (each Consisting 5 members) and a center (consisting 5 groups). BKB & Swanirvar Bangladesh is operating this program jointly. The credit is collateral free but Group guarantee for each other is needed. Maximum loan amount is TK.15,000/- per beneficiary. It is Short term credit(to be recovered in 52 equal weekly installments within one year). Disbursement of loans to the beneficiaries is made duly recommended by Swanirvar staffs. Swanirvar Bangladesh is responsible for group formation, giving training to the beneficiaries and recovery of loan. Rate of Interest is 16%. (6% Service charge for Swarnivar, 10% Interest for BKB). About 274115 beneficiaries have been provided with Tk.1577.80 million since its inception (upto 30 September,2012).

Swanirvar Credit Program:

Small Farmers & landless Labourers Development Project (SFDP)

BARD is implementing this project jointly & BKB from 1995 through 21 branches under 6 Regions (districts) of Bangladesh Krishi Bank. The objectives of the project are to increase production, employment creation and increase income of the small landless farmers & labourers through formation of small groups, generation of own capital and provision for capital support for undertaking various income generating activities. Under this project Tk. 19.80 million has been disbursed to 2710 beneficiaries on average per year and recovered Tk. 15.80 million per year. Cumulative recovery rate is 97%. The beneficiaries under this program are small farmers having maximum 0.50 acres of cultivable land & landless labourers having 0.51-1.50 acres of cultivable land. Selection of target family, group formation, supervision of group activities, supervision of loan utilization and all kinds of field works are done by BARD. Opening of group account, sanctioning and disbursement of loan & maintaining savings account etc. are done by BKB. Bank provides credit from its own source after formation 5-10 members group. The loan is collateral free, but assets and goods derived from credit are hypothecated. Lien of group savings & group pressure replace the collateral. Loan is disbursed for any recognized items which is accepted by bank & identified by members of group. Interest rate is 15% of which 10% for BKB, 5% for BARD. Chairman or secretary of the group recovers the loan. Loan is recovered in weekly/fortnightly/monthly installments within maximum 18 months. About 28266 beneficiaries have been provided with Tk.215.20 million since its inception (upto 30 September, 2012). This program terminated on 30th June,2006.

South Asia Poverty Alleviation Program:

This program was launched on the basis of Dhaka conference of SAARC countries in 1993. This is a joint venture program with UNDP. But it is banks own financed program. UNDP organizes the beneficiaries, trains them and recommends the loan. The responsibility of credit realization lies with the managers of village organizations. This is an area based credit program. Only Kishorganj ( a district) sadar upazilla is the command area of this program. The maximum credit limit is Tk. 25000/- per beneficiary. 25 beneficiaries form a group. Rate of interest is 15% (BKB 10% and the manager of village organization 5%).The loan is collateral free and is recovered in weekly installments within one year. About 53723 beneficiaries have been provided with Tk.445.70 million since its inception (upto 30 September, 2012).

United Nations Capital Development Fund(UNCDF):

This program started in 1983 with the objective of financing rural & cottage industries. Now it is running on revolving fund. This is a joint venture program with BKB, BSCIC & UNCDF. UNCDF provides one third of fund while BKB provides two thirds. BSCIC selects borrower and provides extension services. The program covers 29 districts. BKB provides credit from joint fund and maintains account. Rate of interest is 10% – 14%. This is a collateral free credit. Raw materials, finished goods and capital asset created out of credit are kept as hypothecation against credit provided to the beneficiaries. About 24837 beneficiaries have been provided with Tk.136.70 million since its inception (upto 30 September,2012).

Rural Women Employment Creation Project ADB Loan No 1067 BAN(SF):

This is a joint project started in 1993 for experimenting with the idea of co-participation of government Organizations  (GOs) and Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) aiming at employment creation for poor women in the rural areas. Department of women Affairs (DWA), 19 NGO`s in 12 thanas (upa-zilla) and BKB jointly implementing the project. NGOs organizes individuals into groups, train them under the supervision of DWA and recommends for credit  funded by ADB. This is also a collateral free credit. Interest rate is 12%. About 67402 beneficiaries have been provided with Tk.154.70 million since its inception (upto 30 September 2012). This program terminated on 30 th June,2007.

BKB-NGO Micro Credit Program:

This program is a replication of Rural Women Employment Creation Project (RWECP).NGOs organizes individuals into groups, provides them training and recommends for credit . BKB provides credit from its own fund. This is also a collateral free credit. Interest rate is 12.5% . About 16636 beneficiaries have been provided with Tk. 136.00 million since its inception (upto 30 September 2012).

Credits Under National Poverty Alleviation Program through Goat Rearing:

This program has been introduced in 2002 aiming to eradicate poverty through goat rearing. Directorate of livestock provides with extension service while BKB provides credit from its own fund for a period of 4 years term. This is a collateral free credit provided from all branches of BKB. Interest rate is 10% . About 24354 beneficiaries have been provided with Tk. 236.50 million since its inception (upto 30 September 2012).

Milking Cow Credit Program for the Women:

The program launched in the year 1997. The main objectives of the program were proper utilization of the unemployed women increasing milk production and helping the up-lift of the condition of the women folk. Under this program one village of a branch area is selected. One woman from each family of the selected village is eligible to get this credit facility. An applicant gets maximum Tk. 10,000/- to purchase a calf. Interest rate is 8%. The loan is realized within one year in weekly installments. This is a collateral free supervised credit. An officer or field worker of the branch is engaged in supervising the credit under the direct control of the branch manager.  Livestock officers help the beneficiaries in treatment and rearing the cow. About 612 beneficiaries have been provided with Tk. 8.20 million since its inception (upto 30 September 2012).

Special Micro Credit Program for the Disabled:

This program has been introduced in 2002 aiming to income generation & development of socio-economic condition through employment creation for the disabled persons. Department of Social Welfare and Disabled Foundation provides extension services. This is a collateral free credit provided from all branches of the bank. Interest rate is 10%. About 530 beneficiaries have been provided with Tk. 5.60 million since its inception (upto 30 September 2012).

Monipuri Small Traders Credit Program:

This program have been introduced in 2003 aiming to provide working capital to handloom industry operated by the Monipuri women living in the greater Sylhet areas. Bank officials organize the Monipuri women having handloom and training/education/experience of operation. Eligible women are organized into 5 member groups. This is also a collateral free credit provided from the bank`s own fund. Interest rate is 10% . About 684 beneficiaries have been provided with Tk.21.50 million since its inception (upto 30 September 2012).

Special Credit Program for the Rakhains under the district of Cox`s Bazar:

This program has been launched in 2003 aiming to provide working capital credit for producing handloom and cottage Industrial products and marketing. The loan is disbursed to the Rakhain community living in the district of Cox`s Bazar. Bank officials organize Rakhains into 5 member groups. This is a collateral free credit program from banks own fund. Interest rate is 10% . About 469 beneficiaries have been provided with Tk. 15.10 million since its inception (upto 30 September 2012).

Tree Plantation Programs: In 2002 and 2003 BKB has launched 8 Tree Plantation Programs-viz:

i)     All types of tree nursery including herbal,
ii)     Horticulture Development,
iii)    Fruit and forest tree plantation,
iv)    Bamboo production,
v)     Herbal gardening,
vi)    Coconut gardening,
vii)   Patipata (a plant used in making mat) production,
viii)  Cane production.

These programs have been introduced in all branches of the bank to grow more and more trees aiming to eradication of poverty, proper use of fallen land, increase of tree production facilitating herbal treatment and development of environment. Credit under these programs is collateral free upto Tk. 25,000/-. Interest rate is 8%. About 20043 beneficiaries have been provided with Tk 203.50 million since its inception (upto 30 September 2012).

Establishment of Breeding Farm of Black Bengal Goat Program:

This program has been taken to ensure supply of kids of Black Bengal Goats in order to support the national program of poverty alleviation through goat rearing. Under this program a farm comprising 50 she goats is considered as a small farm and a farm comprising 51-200 she goats is considered as a big farm. The loan is medium term. Credit limit is Tk. 30,000/- for a small farm consisting of 10 she goats ( with a he- goat). This credit limit is calculated for making up goat-shed, purchasing of she-goats & he-goat and initial feed cost. This limit is proportionated for a small farm having upto 50 number of she-goats. For a medium farm credit limit is to be calculated deducting the cost of goat shed. This cost is borne by the entrepreneur. About 304 beneficiaries have been provided with Tk 14.60 million since its inception (upto 30 September 2012).

Community Based Resource Management Project:

This project started in 2003-04 fiscal year. It is a joint venture project of BKB, IFAD and Dept. of LGED of GOB. The project is to be implemented in all of the 10 upa-zillas of Sunamgonj (a district) at 3 phases within 11 years. The project has five components such as: (1) Infra -structure Development, (ii) Development of Fisheries, (iii) Crop and livestock Development, (iv) Grass Roots Institutional Development and (v) Small Credit Bangladesh Krishi Bank deals with “small credit“ component of the project. LGED organizes the target people into 30 member groups. Bank Provides short and medium term loan. Maximum loan limit is Tk. 14,000/- to each member as short term and Tk. 27,000/- to each member as Medium term. The loan under this project is collateral free. Rate of interest is 15%. 1508 credit organization (each credit organization consists of maximum 30 beneficiaries) have been provided with Tk 190.35 million since its inception (upto 30 September 2008).

Poverty Alleviation through Production and Improvement of Sheep:

This is a government directed program which has been launched in the last part of the fiscal year 2004-05. Primarily this is to be implemented throughout the selected 22 upazillas under selected 11 districts of BKB`s jurisdiction. Directorate of livestock provides with extensive services while BKB provides credit from its own fund. Under this program credit amount upto taka 50,000/- is collateral free. Interest rate is 8%. This loan is to be repaid within four years in 6 equal installments including one year grace period. About 360 beneficiaries have been provided with Tk 3.80 million since its inception (upto 30 September 2012).

Annual Agricultural Credit Program

 Despite a long term trend of decline of share of agriculture sector in GDP, the sector still accounts for about 48 percent of the total employed persons calling for greater institutional and policy supports. Besides, the recent global food crisis on account of natural calamities, increased demand for food, use of crops to produce bio-fuel in the developed countries and protectionist policy adopted by the food exporting countries highlights the urgency of increasing domestic food production and attaining food security through increased investment in this sector and, timely and adequate supply of agricultural inputs including agricultural credit. Keeping in view, the importance of credit for ensuring sustainable growth in the agriculture sector, annual program based indicative disbursement targets of credit by the lending banks are designed. The banks themselves taking into consideration expected demand for credit for the year, previous years’ disbursement and the availability of fund set yearly targets of disbursement.

In recent time, agricultural and rural finance program seems to have boosted up as the private commercial banks began to participate along with the State-owned Commercial Banks (SCBs). The private and foreign banks came forward in distributing agricultural credit through their branch network in collaboration with NGOs, in addition to the regular agricultural credit disbursement by state owned banks and organizations.

Total Agricultural Credit Disbursement

YearBKBTotalBKB contribution in %Others

2004

13.5

30.2

44.70%

55.30%

2005

15.63

29.55

52.89%

47.11%

2006

17.65

32.8

53.81%

46.19%

2007

19.6

40.48

48.42%

51.58%

2008

22.8

49.57

46.00%

54.00%

2009

26.64

54.96

48.47%

51.53%

2010

31.5

52.93

59.51%

40.49%

2011

32.96

61.67

53.45%

46.55%

2012

38.24

69.92

54.69%

45.31%

Average

51.33%

48.67%

Stakeholder involvement

Government, Employees, Farmers, general people are the main stakeholders for BKB. BKB deals in retail way. Now, opening deposit account for the farmers at the beginning balance of 10 taka without any other maintenance cost.

Supply Chain security

Government, Employees, Farmers, general people are the main stakeholders for BKB. BKB deals in retail way. It’s the duty of all to secure the supply chain.

Recent CSR activities of Bangladesh Krishi Bank

  1. Blanket distribution among the poor: The winter season of this year brings severe cold wave all over the country. This cold wave acts as a curse to the poor people who have not enough protection against these natural phenomena. The poor people living in the streets, in the slums, rail station, pavement etc. have lack of warm cloth to fight against this freezing temperature. Many poor old people living in the remote rural areas died because of this year’s severe cold. The temperature is about 4 degree centigrade in the northern regions of the country. BKB’s honorable Chairman and Managing director have t6aken initiatives under the CSR program to distribute blanket among the poor people living in the remote areas of Bangladesh. First, they have distributed blanket among the poor people of Gopalgonj district. After that our managing director has distributed blanket in Madaripur, Manikgonj, Jamalpur districts etc. About TK. 4.00 Lac was involved in this blanket distribution program among the poor people in various districts of our country by the management of BKB under the CSR program.

(BKB’S honorable Managing Director Mr. Abdus salam distribute balnket among the poor villagers  at Gopalgonj district

2. Employees Benevolent Fund: About TK.25.00 lac was already spent during this from this fund under CSR program. BKB’s Management gave crest and monthly scholarship among the children of BKB officials who have got excellent academic result in PSC, JSC, SSC, HSC examinations. Besides this, BKB’s Managing Dierector has got the financial power of sanctioning TK.50000/- at a time for any BKB official as a support against sudden serious illness, accident etc. under BKB’s CSR activities.

3. Employees Welfare Fund: A lump sum amount has been given to all employees of BKB after retirement as a token of support from the Employees Welfare Fund.

4. Island Beautification Program: BKB has also spent a handsome amount of money under this program in the roads and highways of Dhaka to help enhancing the beauty of this mega city.

Banking Sector of Bangladesh

The commercial banking system dominates Bangladesh’s financial sector. Bangladesh Bank is the Central Bank of Bangladesh and the chief regulatory authority in the sector. The banking system is composed of four state-owned commercial banks, five specialized development banks, thirty private commercial Banks and nine foreign commercial banks. The Nobel-prize winning Grameen Bank is a specialized micro-finance institution, which revolutionized the concept of micro-credit and contributed greatly towards poverty reduction and the empowerment of women in Bangladesh.

Specialized Development Banks

Out of the specialized banks, two (Bangladesh Krishi Bank and Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan Bank) were created to meet the credit needs of the agricultural sector while the other two Bangladesh Development Bank Ltd. (BDBL) are for extending term loans to the industrial sector. These two have been merged to create Bangladesh Development Bank Ltd. The Specialized banks are:

•    Grameen Bank
•    Bangladesh Krishi Bank
•    Bangladesh Development Bank Ltd
•    Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan Bank
•    Basic Bank Ltd (Bank of Small Industries and Commerce)
•    Bangladesh Somobay Bank Limited(Cooperative Bank)
•    Ansar VDP Unnyan Bank

CSR in Banking Sector of Bangladesh

Highlights of recent engagements of banks in CSR practices:

Out of forty nine scheduled banks in Bangladesh, forty six had engagement in CSR practices in some form or other from 2009.

• In terms of direct monetary expenditure, engagements of banks in CSR initiatives are increasing, particularly following issuance of BB guidance

Year  2009          2010           2011.

CSR expenditure (Million Taka)       226.4                    10.7            553.8

• CSR expenditures of banks have thus far largely been in the form of passive grants and donations. Banks were particularly responsive to emergency support needs of population groups affected in natural and manmade disasters.

• Apart from one-off grants and giveaways, some banks have engagements in longer term continuing support commitments, in areas of education and healthcare.

• Besides the passive engagements by way of grants/donations banks are now getting actively engaged in socially responsible business operations,

by way of increased lending to under-served economic sectors like agriculture and SMEs, towards fuller _inancial inclusion and faster poverty eradication.

• Banks are yet to adopt practices of prior stakeholder consultations (an important element indicated in BB’s guidance circular) in drawing up their CSR programs.

• Some banks have reported embracing commitment for environmental sustainability in own and client businesses. Their actions have not however gone beyond compliance with relevant government laws and regulations. Proactive initiatives of helping arrest environmental degradation, like adoption of more energy efficient, and harmful emission/effluence reducing internal practices and processes have been largely absent in the CSR initiatives, even of branches of foreign banks with such practices in their

home offices.

• Banks are yet to adopt separate reporting of their CSR activities in comprehensive formats such as the GRI.

B. CSR practices in banks : an analytical review

CSR expenditures by banks

The banking sector of Bangladesh has a long history of involvement in benevolent activities like donations to different charitable organizations, to poor people and religious institutions, city beautification and patronizing art & culture, etc. Recent trends of these engagements indicate that banks are gradually organizing these involvements in more structured CSR initiative format. The June 2008 BB Guidance circular suggested that banks could begin reporting their CSR initiatives in a modest way as supplements to usual annual financial reports, eventually to develop into full blown comprehensive reports in GRI format. Information on CSR expenditure available from annual reports of banks, compiled together, bring up the following picture of sectoral patterns:

Sectoral pattern of CSR expenditure reported by banksTaka in million
Segments Segments 2009Segments 2010Segments 2011
Disaster relief127.758.6125.1
Education14.330.594.8
Health68.6112.1245.5
Sports02.749.81.2
Arts & Culture0.00.80.3
Others13.1158.986.9
Total226.4 410.7 553.8

Following are some notable features observed from the CSR activities carried out by the banks :

1.  In a natural calamity-prone area like Bangladesh, there remains an existing and distinctive CSR agenda focused on the business contribution to tackling social crises in the affected area. Disaster relief and rehabilitation became the segment where the highest number of banks participated to help ease the sufferings of the affected people. In the current context, a desired move from the traditionally popular fields of education or health.

2. In the education segment, more and more banks have taken long-term or renewable scholarship programs for under-privileged but meritorious students for the persuasion of their studies instead of providing one-time recognition awards to good performers.

3.Some banks choose to provide continued financial support for maintaining operating costs of health care organizations. A bank undertook a continuous program called ‘Smile Brighter Program’ to perform as many operations possible per year on cleft-lipped boys and girls to bring back smile on their face.

4.Several banks have taken steps and introduced investment schemes to cater the needs of self-employment and poverty alleviation under which micro-finance is channeled to the target groups, such as poor farmers, landless peasants, women entrepreneurs, rootless slum people, handicapped people, etc.

5. A few banks have taken steps to introduce Interest-free Education Loan to poor and meritorious students to help bear monthly educational expenditure including food, accommodation etc. The loan is distributed to the selected students in monthly installments till their completion of studies up to the Masters Degree level.

6. A good number of banks have created separate Foundation/Trusts as non-profitable, nongovernmental organization, solely devoted to the cause of charity, social welfare and other benevolent activities towards the promotion CSR objectives. These banks are providing a certain percentage of the pre-tax profit/net profit each year towards its CSR activities.

Institutionalizing CSR at corporate level

The BB guidance circular suggested embracing of CSR with decisions taken at the highest corporate level (board of directors of the bank), and to choose action programs and performance targets through consultative processes involving the internal and external stakeholders concerned. As seen in the following table, 12 PCBs and 3 FCBs reported to have embraced CSR with decision at the highest corporate level, none of the SCBs and DFIs reported to have done anything in this regard. A total of 16 out of 30 PCBs and 1 out of 9 FCBs have formed separate Foundations or Trusts as non-pro_itable, non-governmental organization, solely devoted to the cause of charity, social welfare and other benevolent activities towards the promotion CSR objectives. These banks have also resolved to provide a certain percentage of the pre-tax profit/net profit each year towards its CSR activities. However, none of the banks reported to have adopted action programs and performance targets through consultative processes involving the internal and external stakeholders concerned as suggested in the guideline of June 1, 2008.

Institutionalizing CSR at corporate level
Compliance issue

SCBs

(4 Nos.)

DFIs

(5 Nos.)

PCBs

(30 Nos.)

FCBs

(9 Nos.)

Embraced CSR with decision at the highest corporate level (board of directors)

0

0

12

3

Set up separate   body/ division/unit in order tomainstreaming CSR activities

0

0

16

1

Adopted action programs & targets through consultative processes involving internal andexternal stakeholders

0

0

0

0

Ingraining CSR practices within the organization & Client Businesses

Against the suggestion in the BB guidance circular for ingraining environmentally and socially responsible practices within the organization, only four banks (1 DFI and 3 PCBs) reported having taken steps for adoption of socially and environmentally responsible practices in their own internal operations. The DFI mentioned that they have taken actions towards providing a modern, healthy and safe workplace and creating an environment conducive to learning and development. Regarding reducing the environmental impact as a result of their operation and business activity, 1 DFI and 3 PCBs reported to have taken positive actions towards it.

Ingraining CSR practices in the banks and their client businesses
Compliance issue

SCBs

(4 Nos.)

DFIs

(5 Nos.)

PCBs

(30 Nos.)

FCBs

(9 Nos.)

Adopted socially and environmentally responsible practices in own internaloperations

0

1

3

0

Providing a modern, healthy and safe workplace and creating a learning anddevelopment environment

0

1

0

0

Reduce the bank’s environmental impact as aresult of its operation and business activity

0

1

3

0

Foster CSR in their client businesses assessingthe social and environmental impacts of the projects seeking finance

1

2

8

0

Ensuring compliance of regulatory environmental and social requirements

1

2

8

0

Engaging with clients in assessing project’s social and environmental impacts beyond the regulatory requirements

0

0

1

0

As shown in the above table, 1 SCB, 2 DFIs and 8 PCBs have taken steps to foster CSR in their client businesses in various economic sectors, assessing the social and environmental impacts of the enterprises/projects seeking finance. These banks reported that they try to ensure compliance with environmental standards while financing industrial projects, and that they

have formulated environment policies in accordance with guidelines issued by the Government, in terms of which the environmental impacts are considered at the time of conducting Credit and Lending Risks Analysis. Projects likely to have adverse impact on environment are strongly discouraged by them. Some banks have also introduced guidelines requiring assessment of environmental and social impacts of the projects to ensure that operations of the projects would be eco-friendly. It is understood that, banks in Bangladesh in general try to ensure that enterprises/projects seeking finance comply with the environmental and social requirements that are compulsorily mandated by laws and regulations. However, most of the banks did not report this in their annual reports.

Financial Involvement of Banks in Bangladesh

The CSR guidelines issued by Bangladesh Bank put special emphasis on reaching out with financial services to the less well-off population segments of the community in order to speed up financial inclusion of the large socially disadvantaged rural and urban population segments; drawing them

with appropriate financial service packages and with financing programs innovatively designed to generate new employment, output and income.

It was observed that 4 SCBs, 3 DFIs, 29 PCBs and 3 FCBs have responded positively to this call and undertaken programs for speeding up financial inclusion of the large socially disadvantaged rural and urban population segments. Out of this programs-

1. 4 SCBs, 3 DFIs, 28 PCBs and 3 FCBs were engaged in self-employment credit and Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) lending programs, taken up solo or in association with locally active Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs). These programs were mainly designed to create productive new on-farm/off-farm employment. The banks also formally recognized their philanthropic obligation towards the promotion and development of small and medium industries sector.

2. 1 DFI has financed programs for installation of biomass processing plants and for Effluent Treatment Plants (ETPs) in manufacturing establishments.

3. In order to provide support to small landholder farmers of Bangladesh who play a crucial role in the development of the country, 4 SCBs, 3 DFIs, 25 PCBs and 3 FCBs have disbursed agricultural loans mainly through their rural branches for diversified production of crops, oilseeds, spices, vegetables, fruits etc. by rural households, financing the growers directly or through suitable intermediaries in the value chain, and have provided credit support for combinations of farming activities. Concurrently, credit lines are also extended to different NGOs to support the initiatives for agricultural development and alleviation of poverty in the rural areas.

4. Two banks reported taking up initiatives aimed at prompt delivery of remittances from migrant workers to recipients in remote rural households, or programs for card based/ mobile phone based delivery of financial services to such households. Among bank financed self-employment & SME projects; dairy, fishery, poultry, goat rearing & cow fattening projects and financing of NGOs for enhancing the flow of micro-credit under NGO Linkage Loan were more prominent. Among the four classes of bank, DFIs were the most important participant in the SME sector. From chart 3 below it can be seen that, during the year 2008, the DFIs had the dominant share of SME credit outstanding during 2008 and 2009. Involvement of SCBs in SME lending does not show signs of stable upward trend. The engagement of PCBs however, has been in significant upward trend. Involvement of FCBs even though small in absolute size, is also showing signs of steady increase.

Social and environmental improvement

The banks had significant community investments by way of donations to initiatives of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), NGOs and institutions involved in health, education and culture; for social and environmental improvement including nutrition, health and education in the disadvantaged population segments. The following table shows participation of banks in various areas of community development:

Community investment for social & environmental improvement
Compliance issue

SCBs

(4 Nos.)

DFIs

(5 Nos.)

PCBs

(30 Nos.)

FCBs

(9 Nos.)

Banks having community investments by wayof donations to CSOs, NGOs or others

3

2

30

8

1. Education

3

2

22

5

2. Health

1

3

25

4

3. Disaster relief

3

2

5

8

4. Sports

3

1

14

3

5. Art and Culture

2

1

6

4

6. Environment

0

0

4

1

7. Others

2

1

16

3

It was observed that, Education and Health were the more popular area of participation by the banks in community development. A total of 3 SCBs, 2 DFIs, 22 PCBs and 5 FCBs have made donations to various educational institutions for their cause. In the health sector, 1 SCB, 3 DFIs, 25 PCBs and 4 FCBs patronized a number of health care organizations by way of financial support to them. Disaster Relief also received due attention as 3 SCBs, 2 DFIs, 25 PCBs and 8 FCBs have provided donations to Relief and Rehabilitation Programs for the people affected in different natural calamities. On the other hand, as shown in the following table, only 12 banks out of 30 PCBs and 3 banks out of 9 FCBs have conducted direct social interventions, both as sustainable/continuous projects or occasional/remedial measures. These banks actually tried to enrich economic and social indicators of the society by way of reducing poverty, giving standard health care service, proper nutrition, and ensuring environment friendly society for the present and future generation. However, none of the SCBs or DFIs conducted any direct social interventions. The following areas were covered by the banks that had direct social intervention programs :

1. Having considered education as a tool for social change, 8 PCBs and 1 FCB have chalked out programs with a view to remove the access barrier of some of many economic hardship-hit estimable students to their desired level of education by providing scholarship, fellowship, infrastructural development, etc.

2. Since a large number of poor people in our country are deprived of the opportunity to cure their health problem, 4 PCBs and 2 FCBs have established permanent health projects to reduce their sufferings.

3. Bangladesh lies in a natural calamity-prone area where floods, cyclones and other natural calamities often occur. Some Banks have always been at the service of the people afflicted by the natural calamities. 5 PCBs and 1 FCB have taken direct steps to provide aid and rehabilitation program they considered necessary to the group of people affected in different natural disaster.

4. 1 PCB and 1 FCB have some projects covering Art & culture aspects.

5. 1 PCB and 1 FCB have environmental project to combat the devastating effects of environmental changes for Green House affects due to Global warming.

Financial institutions, such as banks, do not produce hazardous chemicals or discharge toxic pollutants into the air, land or water and thus apparently they might be viewed as uninvolved with environmental issues. But through their financing practices they are supporting commercial activity that ultimately degrades the natural environment. They act as facilitators by supplying the fund to support the production process which ultimately causes environmental degradation. Thus banks should admit the responsibility of indirect involvement in environmental damages and recognize their environmental responsibility, which is a part of their CSR, to strike a balance between economic and social goals to encourage the efficient use of resources. It is not just philanthropy and obeying the laws, rather an attempt to ensure their own sustainability and profitability. Involvement in environmental degradation will not only invite public criticism and negative customer reaction, but also might make regulations more stringent which can impair the bank profitability by curbing market for the products of their customers1. Also lenders can even be held 1 For example, the Montreal protocol has banned the production of ozone-depleting substances, which is threatening for companies operating in that area and the banks financed these companies responsible for their clients’ environmental impacts2. Thus banks have strong prudential reasons for trying to avoid lending in ways that expose them to environmental risk and have clear incentive to incorporating environmental criteria into the lending decision making process. In contrast, the status of environmental risk management by banks is not satisfactory in least developed countries like Bangladesh, largely due to inadequate existence and poor enforcement of existing laws and inadequate pressure from civil society and interest groups. In June 1997, Bangladesh Bank, the Central Bank of the country, asked all commercial banks (BRPD-No-12 dated 8.10.1997) to undertake necessary steps in light of the implementation of certain decisions with regard to environmental conservation and protection of environmental pollution by the National Environment Committee and implement the provisions of Environment Conservation Act 1995. Commercial banks are asked to ensure that steps have been undertaken to control environmental pollution before financing a new project or providing working capital financing to the existing enterprises. However, enforcements of these have been very weak in the country. Consequentially, environmental protection is not in the priority list of the banks in Bangladesh during lending and in other operations. A lot needs to be changed in terms of policies and mindsets, and in formulation of new and implementations of existing regulations.

The modern concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is evolving gradually despite several hindrances. Driving forces behind this evolution is pressure from various stakeholders (Importers, Environmentalists) while slow progress is attributed to lack of Good Governance, absence of strong labor unions, consumer forums and above all lack of understanding by business houses, specifically non-exporting ones, that CSR is not charity but is rather an instrumental PR investment. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is gaining fast global acceptance as a standard to assume environmentally sustainable and socially equitable business practices. The role of business worldwide and specifically in the developed economies has evolved from classical ‘profit maximizing’ approach to a ‘social responsibly’ approach, where businesses are not only responsible to its stockholders but also to all of its stakeholders in a broader inclusive sense. With increased globalization, local businesses are being integrated with the global economy than ever hence pressure is mounting on local businesses to converge on international standards of socially responsible business. As a member of the global economy, Bangladesh is also aware of the need to take positive initiative to establish an image of environmentally and socially responsible businesses. CSR as a concept is being gradually interwoven into the psyche of local business; however, the process is slow and only in its infancy. In most of the cases, CSR practices are not particularly framed in the context of seeing to in that the money being given, as corporate donations had been part of a sustaining community development effort.

The banking sector of Bangladesh has been actively participating in various social activities. However, these efforts were hardly recognized and labeled as CSR activities since most of the financial institutions have not integrated CSR in their routine operation; rather these were in the form of occasional charity or promotional activities. Bangladesh Bank has taken initiatives in respect of formalizing CSR in the banking sector of Bangladesh and issued a directive to the banks and, financial institutions on June 01, 2008 in this regard. It defined the strategic objective for CSR engagement, provided some priority areas with a suggestion to foster CSR in their client businesses, and suggested a first time CSR program indicating some likely action plans. Bangladesh Bank will monitor CSR adoption and CSR performance of banks and financial institutions, as an additional dimension of their management performance. Bangladesh Bank also had the opportunity to provide a sense of direction to the CSR agenda of the banking sector when it suggested that, banks which are taking measures for rehabilitating, agriculture, fisheries, livestock, and protecting environment, will be considered as more compliant of Corporate Social Responsibility besides providing relief to the people affected in natural calamities like ‘Sidr’ and ‘Aila’. The banking community has responded sensibly to the call for CSR and sustainable social development. We are also observing a gradual but qualitative change in the CSR action programs undertaken by banks. For example:
•    Disaster relief and rehabilitation became the segment where the highest number of banks participated to help case the sufferings of the affected people. In the current context, there is a desired move from the traditionally popular fields of education or health.
•    Several banks introduced micro-finance for the target groups, such as poor farmers, landless peasants, women entrepreneurs, rootless slum people, handicapped people, etc.
•    More and more banks have taken long-term or renewable scholarship programs for under-privileged but meritorious students for the persuasion of their studies, instead of providing one-time recognition awards to good performers.
•    Some banks choose to provide continued financial support for maintaining operating costs of health care organizations.

Without a ‘governance framework’, businesses may face substantial difficulties in finding and maintaining appropriate boundaries for their CSR interventions, and they may find themselves pressured into activities that are beyond their core competence and represent a financial drain on business rather than a sensible CSR investment. The initiative of Management and Resources Development Initiative (MRDI) aiming at proper utilization of CSR funds by means of seeking commitment from the leaders of trade and industry to undertaken target-oriented actions for sustainable social development is appreciable. MRDI has right pointed out that as an alternative development funds, CSR can contribute to poverty reduction and supplement government’s efforts towards achieving the millennium development goals. In a developing country like ours with modest resources, it is important that we deploy our resources most usefully, and hence, we should make an effort to have an overall national policy on CSR that starts from building understanding of CSR incentives and pressure points and improving strategic interactions and alignment between public policy goals and the CSR-related activities of businesses.

CSR Expenditures by Banks

The banking sector of Bangladesh has a long history of involvement in benevolent activities like donations to different charitable organizations, to poor people and religious institutions, city beautification and patronizing art & culture, etc. Recent trends of these engagements indicate that banks are gradually organizing these involvements in more structured CSR initiative format.

The June 2008 BB Guidance circular suggested that banks could begin reporting their CSR initiatives in a modest way as supplements to usual annual financial reports, eventually to develop into full blown comprehensive reports in GRI format. Information on CSR expenditure available from annual reports of banks, compiled together, bring up the following picture of sectoral patterns:

Table 1: Sectoral pattern of CSR expenditure reported by Banks

Taka in millionSegments200720082009Disaster relief127.758.6125.1Education14.330.594.8Health68.6112.1245.5Sports02.749.81.2Arts & Culture0.00.80.3Others13.1158.986.9Total226.4410.7553.8

In the year 2007, large concentration in the field of disaster relief, both in participation and expenditure wise, was observed mainly because of the cyclone ‘Sidr’. Whereas, in the year 2009, the ‘Education’ and ‘Health’ sectors were getting more attention and appeared to be the most popular area for CSR activities as huge investments are being made by several banks in these segments. These shifts point to the responsiveness of the banking community to the changing need of the society.

Following are some notable features observed from the CSR activities carried out by the banks:

In a natural calamity-prone area like Bangladesh, there remains an existing and distinctive CSR agenda focused on the business contribution to tackling social crises in the affected area. Disaster relief and rehabilitation became the segment where the highest number of banks participated to help ease the sufferings of the affected people. In the current context, a desired move from the traditionally popular fields of education or health.

In the education segment, more and more banks have taken long-term or renewable scholarship programs for under-privileged but meritorious students for the persuasion of their studies instead of providing one time recognition awards to good performers.

Some banks choose to provide continued financial support for maintaining operating costs of health care organizations. A bank undertook a continuous program called ‘Smile Brighter Program’ to perform as many operations possible per year on cleft-lipped boys and girls to bring back smile on their face.

Several banks have taken steps and introduced investment schemes to cater the needs of self-employment and poverty alleviation under which micro-finance is channeled to the target groups, such as poor farmers, landless peasants, women entrepreneurs, rootless slum people, handicapped people, etc.

A few banks have taken steps to introduce Interest-free Education Loan to poor and meritorious students to help bear monthly educational expenditure including food, accommodation etc. The loan is distributed to the selected students in monthly installments till their completion of studies upto the Masters Degree level.

A good number of banks have created separate Foundation/Trusts as non-profitable, nongovernmental organization, solely devoted to the cause of charity, social welfare and other benevolent activities towards the promotion CSR objectives. These banks are providing a certain percentage of the pre-tax profit/net profit each year towards its CSR activities.

Institutionalizing CSR at Corporate Level

The BB guidance circular suggested embracing of CSR with decisions taken at the highest corporate level (board of directors of the bank), and to choose action programs and performance targets through consultative processes involving the internal and external stakeholders concerned. As seen in the following table, 12 PCBs and 3 FCBs reported to have embraced CSR with decision at the highest corporate level, none of the SCBs and DFIs reported to have done anything in this regard. A total of 16 out of 30 PCBs and 1 out of 9 FCBs have formed separate Foundations or Trusts as non-profitable, non-governmental organization, solely devoted to the cause of charity, social welfare and other benevolent activities towards the promotion CSR objectives. These banks have also resolved to provide a certain percentage of the pre-tax profit/net profit each year towards its CSR activities. However, none of the banks reported to have adopted action programs and performance targets through consultative processes involving the internal and external stakeholders concerned as suggested in the guideline of June 1, 2008.

Ingraining CSR Practices within the Organization & Client Businesses

Against the suggestion in the BB guidance circular for ingraining environmentally and socially responsible practices within the organization, only four banks (1 DFI and 3 PCBs) reported having taken steps for adoption of socially and environmentally responsible practices in their own internal operations. The DFI mentioned that they have taken actions towards providing a modern, healthy and safe workplace and creating an environment conducive to learning and development. Regarding reducing the environmental impact as a result of their operation and business activity, 1 DFI and 3 PCBs reported to have taken positive actions towards it.

As shown in the above table, 1 SCB, 2 DFIs and 8 PCBs have taken steps to foster CSR in their client businesses in various economic sectors, assessing the social and environmental impacts of the enterprises/projects seeking finance. These banks reported that they try to ensure compliance with environmental standards while financing industrial projects, and that they have formulated environment policies in accordance with guidelines issued by the Government, in terms of which the environmental impacts are considered at the time of conducting Credit and Lending Risks Analysis. Projects likely to have adverse impact on environment are strongly discouraged by them. Some banks have also introduced guidelines requiring assessment of environmental and social impacts of the projects to ensure that operations of the projects would be eco-friendly. It is understood that, banks in Bangladesh in general try to ensure that enterprises/projects seeking finance comply with the environmental and social requirements that are compulsorily mandated by laws and regulations. However, most of the banks did not report this in their annual reports.

Financial Inclusion

The CSR guidelines issued by Bangladesh Bank put special emphasis on reaching out with financial services to the less well-off population segments of the community in order to speed up financial inclusion of the large socially disadvantaged rural and urban population segments; drawing them in with appropriate financial service packages and with financing programs innovatively designed to generate new employment, output and income.
It was observed that 4 SCBs, 3 DFIs, 29 PCBs and 3 FCBs have responded positively to this call and undertaken programs for speeding up financial inclusion of the large socially disadvantaged rural and urban population segments. Out of these programs

1.    4 SCBs, 3 DFIs, 28 PCBs and 3 FCBs were engaged in self-employment credit and Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) lending programs, taken up solo or in association with locally active Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs). These programs were mainly designed to create productive new on-farm/off-farm employment. The banks also formally recognized their philanthropic obligation towards the promotion and development of small and medium industries secto

2.    1 DFI has financed programs for installation of biomass processing plants and for Effluent Treatment Plants (ETPs) in manufacturing establishments

3.    In order to provide support to small landholder farmers of Bangladesh who play a crucial role in the development of the country, 4 SCBs, 3 DFIs, 25 PCBs and 3 FCBs have disbursed agricultural loans mainly through their rural branches for diversified production of crops, oilseeds, spices, vegetables, fruits etc. by rural households, financing the growers directly or through suitable intermediaries in the value chain, and have provided credit support for combinations of farming activities. Concurrently, credit lines are also extended to different NGOs to support the initiatives for agricultural development and alleviation of poverty in the rural area

4.    Two banks reported taking up initiatives aimed at prompt delivery of remittances from migrant workers to recipients in remote rural households, or programs for card based mobile phone based delivery of financial services to such households. Among bank financed self-employment & SME projects; dairy, fishery, poultry, goat rearing & cow fattening projects and financing of NGOs for enhancing the flow of micro-credit under NGO Linkage Loan were more prominent. Among the four classes of bank, DFIs were the most important participant in the SME sector. From chart 3 below it can be seen that, during the year 2008, the DFIs had the dominant share of SME credit outstanding during 2008 and 2009. Involvements of SCBs in SME lending do not show signs of stable upward trend. The engagements of PCBs however, have been in significant upward trend. Involvement of FCBs even though small in absolute size, is also showing signs of steady  increase.

The volume of credit outstanding is no firm evidence of extent of financial inclusion per se however, chart 5 plots the trend of number of small sized bank loan accounts, a plausible proxy for increase in number of agricultural and small enterprise loan accounts and hence for financial inclusion. Trend lines in the chart indicate that the positive results from the CSR and other current initiatives for broadening financial inclusion are yet to show up with prominence.

Social and Environmental Improvemen

The banks had significant community investments by way of donations to initiatives of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), NGOs and institutions involved in health, education and culture; for social and environmental improvement including nutrition, health and education in the disadvantaged population segments.

The following table shows participation of banks in various areas of community development:

Table 4: Community investment for social & environmental improvement
Compliance issueSCBs

(4 Nos.)DFIs

(5 Nos.)PCBs

(30 Nos.)FCBs

(9 Nos.)Banks having community investments by way of donations to CSOs, NGOs or others323081. Education322252. Health132543. Disaster relief32584. Sports311435. Art and Culture21646. Environment0O417. Others21163

It was observed that, Education and Health were the more popular area of participation by the banks in community development. A total of 3 SCBs, 2 DFIs, 22 PCBs and 5 FCBs have made donations to various educational institutions for their cause. In the health sector, 1 SCB, 3 DFIs, 25 PCBs and 4 FCBs patronized a number of health care organizations by way of financial support to them. Disaster Relief also received due attention as 3 SCBs, 2 DFIs, 25 PCBs and 8 FCBs have provided donations to Relief and Rehabilitation Programs for the people affected in different natural calamities.

On the other hand, as shown in the following table, only 12 banks out of 30 PCBs and 3 banks out of 9 FCBs have conducted direct social interventions, both as sustainable/continuous projects or occasional/remedial measures. These banks actually tried to enrich economic and social indicators of the society by way of reducing poverty, giving standard health care service, proper nutrition, and ensuring environment friendly society for the present and future generation. However, none of the SCBs or DFIs conducted any direct social interventions. The banks that had direct social intervention programs covered the following areas:

1.    Having considered education as a tool for social change, 8 PCBs and 1 FCB have chalked out programs with a view to remove the access barrier of some of many economic hardship-hit estimable students to their desired level of education by providing scholarship, fellowship, infrastructural development, etc.

2.    Since a large number of poor people in our country are deprived of the opportunity to cure their health problem, 4 PCBs and 2 FCBs have established permanent health projects to reduce their sufferings.

3.    Bangladesh lies in a natural calamity-prone area where floods, cyclones and other natural calamities often occur. Some Banks have always been at the service of the people afflicted by the natural calamities. 5 PCBs and 1 FCB have taken direct steps to provide aid and rehabilitation program they considered necessary to the group of people affected in different natural disaster.

4.    1 PCB and 1 FCB have some projects covering Art & culture aspects.

5.    1 PCB and 1 FCB have environmental project to combat the devastating effects of environmental changes for

CSR and Constituents:

Corporate social Responsibility (CSR) is the responsibilities of an organization to proactively promote the public interest by encouraging community growth and voluntarily eliminating practices that harm the public interests. It is the deliberate inclusion of public interest into corporate decision-making. Broadly, CSR activities of an organization should embrace to honoring the three P’s-People, Planet and Profit. CSR policy would function as a self-regulating mechanism, where business would ensure the adherence to laws & ethical norms. Profit making should not be the only objective of an organization; rather it should embrace the interests of all stakeholders & the community people at large for the long-term sustainability & growth. In decision-making, an organization should consider the impact of its activities on the environment & all other stakeholders. It is intended to portray that the total CSR of business comprises distinct components that, taken together, constitute the whole. The most critical tensions, of course, would be between economic and legal, economic and ethical, and economic and philanthropic. In summary, the total corporate social responsibility of business entails the simultaneous fulfillment of the firm’s economic, legal, ethical, and philanthropic responsibilities.

CSR in Islamic Banks in bangladesh

Islamic banking inherent the principle of equity based investment. That means under Islamic banking profit and loss earned by the bank is distributed among the depositors and also investment is done based on profit/loss sharing basis. Alam (2000) states that the introduction of interest free and equity based financing by the Islamic banking is based on the principle of Islamic economics. Mella et al (1988) observes that the aim of Islamic economics is not only the elimination of interest based transaction and the introduction of the Zakah system but also the establishment of just and balanced social order free from all kinds of exploitation. The intense commitment of Islam to justice and brotherhood demands that Islamic banks should follow their responsibility towards society. Also as per Islamic Shariah, all Islamic banks should be aware and involved in social responsibilities. According to Sadeq (2007) the prime objectives and functionas of Islamic banks are the achievement of general human being; bringing about social and economic benefits to the Islamic world; making brotherhood, social equality and equitable distribution a reality in Muslim societies; establishment of distributive justice; development and support of small scale enterprises; discharging of corporate social responsibility, including its disclosure. Farook (2007) identifies vicegrerency of mankind on earth, divine accountability and the duty on mankind to enjoin good and forbid evil as the three major foundational principles for Islamic Corporate Social Responsibility. He further states that Islamic financial institutions have a responsibility to comply with the form and substance of Islamic Law in all aspects of their operations. This is because they are in a representative and exemplary religious position, whereby they represent the interests of their stakeholders and at the same time are exemplars to their stakeholders.

Regulatory Framework: CSR areas

Under the SRO No. 270-Ain/2010, dated 01.07.2010 is given 22 areas of CSR activities for enjoying 10% tax rebate. The areas (1) Donation to organizations engaged in clean water management (2) Donations to organization engaged in afforestation; (3) Donations to organization engaged in beautifications of cities; (4) Donations to organization engaged in waste management; (5) Donations for redressing the hardships caused by natural calamities such as cyclone, earthquake, tidal wave and flood challenged through Government organizations; (6) Donations to organizations engaged in establishment and management and management of old persons homes; (7) Donations to organizations engaged in the welfare of mentally or physically handicapped; (8) Donations to educational institutions run for the purpose of education of rootless children; (9) Donations to organizations engaged in projects on accommodation for the 8 slum dwellers; (10) Donations to social organizations engaged in publicity of movements relating to women’s rights and anti-dowry practices; (11) Donations to organizations engaged in feeding and clothing and sheltering and rehabilitation of orphan/rootless children; (12) Donations to organizations engaged in research on independence war, regaining and expansion of the consciousness of the independence war and the act of honorable living of the freedom fighters; (13) Donations to organizations engaged in health some

situation in Chittagong Hill Tracts, char areas and areas surrounding breaking up of bank of river; (14) Grants to organizations engaged in treating cleft lips, cataract, cancer, and leprosy; (15) Grants the organizations engaged in treating acid victims; (16) Donations to hospitals engaged in providing free medical treatment to poor patients and specialized for developing the quality of treatment, such as cancer, liver, kidney, thalassemia, eye and cardio; (17) Donations to organizations distributing freely at the level of use of birth –control products with a view to solving the population problem and to conduct camps for voluntary sterilization; (18) Grants to Public Universities; (19) Expenditure incurred through educational institutions recognized by Government for providing technical and vocational education for meritorious poor students; (20) Money invested in establishing lab for providing training on computer or information technology and in establishing infrastructure or in purchasing educational materials for implementing English education in public /private

educational institutions (under Monthly Pay Order or MPO); (21) Donations to organizations engaged in providing technical and vocational training to unskilled or semi-skilled labor for export of human resources; and (22) Donations to organizations involved with infrastructure of sports and provision of training at national level.

CSR activities of various organizations in Bangladesh

Corporate social responsibility depends on managerial performance as well as a consideration of the socio-cultural-environmental dimension of business procedure, and legal and ethical practices with a focus on stockholders, customers and other stakeholders of organizations.

At the international level, globalization is providing momentum towards integrated business processes and a free economy. Under such conditions domestic firms have to compete with multinational firms.

Friedman (1970) argued that a facet of the doctrine of corporate social responsibility is brought into sharp relief when the doctrine is used to justify wage restraint by trade unions.

The conflict of interest is clear when union officials are asked to subordinate the interest of their members to some more general purpose. Gradually not only multinational companies but also local companies are putting more emphasis on corporate social responsibility in Bangladesh.

Banking sector as a whole started putting emphasis on corporate social responsibility. Under the guidance of Bangladesh Bank, all sorts of banks are doing CSR activities.

According to Atiur Rahman, Governor of Bangladesh Bank, banks and financial institutions are well advised to adopt CSR practices in formal, structured manner in line with global norms.

Socially and environmentally responsible practices will, besides fulfilling the moral obligations involved, also help preserve competitive edge in client bases sensitive to these concerns.

Further, the disadvantaged population segments aided by social responsibility initiatives will hopefully constitute their future new client bases. Nowadays Bangladesh Bank wants the banking sector as a whole to put emphasis on green banking.

The idea of financial inclusion stems from social responsibility. However, any sort of rampant corruption like Hall mark, Destiny and some other MLM companies disrupt the social values and ethical breach of contracts by the money market. Capital market scam also indicates lack of corporate social responsibilities.

Hackston and Milne (1996) used six categories to understand and analyse corporate social responsibility reporting: (1) environment, (2) energy, (3) human resources, (4) product and safety, (5) community involvement and (6) other. UNCTAD (2004) defined corporate social responsibility (CSR) as constituting actions whereby organizations integrate societal concerns into their business policies and operations, including environmental, economic and social concerns.

Compliance with the law is the minimum standard to be observed by organizations. The scope of corporate social responsibility encompasses the direct impact of organization’s actions as well as the spillover effects they may have on society. The extent to which enterprises can be held responsible for such externalities is still being debated.

Unilever Bangladesh Ltd. needs to employ sustainability tools as much as possible within its limited resources. This may require additional corporate resources in terms of time and money, to achieve long-term benefits and become a model of “greening” business in its own sector.

British American Tobacco Bangladesh activities reflect their belief that ‘Success and Responsibility Go Together’. This includes afforestation, safe drinking water: ‘Probaho’, sustainable agriculture programs undertaken by British American Tobacco Bangladesh.

ACI was the first company in Bangladesh to obtain certification of ISO 9001 Quality Governance System (in 1995). The ACI group has consistently demonstrated its commitment towards its employees and the environment over the years.

An analysis of the information provided by ACI in relation to its corporate conscience and corporate social responsibility shows that an historical synopsis of the entry of the firm to Bangladesh and the nature of its operations in that country is provided.

Once the background to the firm’s operations in the country is established, various projects and programs demonstrating the firm’s commitment to ethical practices and social responsibility are provided.

The projects and programs are not necessarily restricted to the industry in which the company operates. For example, ACI discloses that it supports cultural programs and the arts and education.

In terms of the six categories identified by Hackston and Milne (1996) the ACI’s corporate social responsibility disclosures are focused around community involvement and other. The disclosures are essentially qualitative in nature although some numbers are provided to demonstrate the rate in growth of certain initiatives such as the CNE and Childrens’ Club programmes.

Potentially the corporate governance of this organization is strong rather than weak, although students should be encouraged to consider (1) whether the organization could be engaged in further activities; and (2) the absence of reporting of matters within the remaining four categories (environment, energy, human resources, product safety).

Not only ACI but other local companies are engaging themselves in corporate social responsibility. Beximco is also practicing corporate social responsibilities. Gradual involvement in the process of corporate social responsibilities has been creating awareness among the customers. Consumers’ are putting emphasis on green products and organic products.

Elimination of child labour is an important objective of the garment and knitwear industry in Bangladesh. We would expect to see organizations operating within this industry and organizations supporting this programme to be reporting appropriate social responsibility activities.

The level and nature of corporate governance (strong or weak) within organizations associated with the garment and knitwear industries of Bangladesh as implied through the corporate social responsibility reporting of these organizations should be investigated.

Comparisons can be made with organizations in these industries and their supporting organizations, in other jurisdictions such as developed nations, developing nations, and underdeveloped nations.

Social compliance is an important tool for exporting the product to the abroad. Recently in case of exporting leather products, Bangladesh faces allegation of non-compliance of social and environmental needs by the leather industry of the country.

Organizational behavior largely depends on the state of social welfare of the society within which it is operating. Although profit maximization is the main objective of a company’s operations, sustainability in the long-run depends also on attaining stakeholder support.

This implies that a portion of profits should be utilized for the sake of sustainability and stakeholder support. This in turn is likely to legitimize the company’s operations and to create trust and enhance confidence in the company. Legal obligations as well as cultural and societal imperatives should be considered as an integral part of business at the global level. Transnational companies must consider the background, values and resources of the nations in which they operate.

Further, if a nation’s infrastructure is not well developed then foreign direct investment in that nation should include strategies to add value to that infrastructure.

Following recommendations may be considered to attain corporate social responsibilities:

• Bangladesh needs to promote good corporate social responsibility. Creation of wealth should be accompanied by proper attention to the welfare of its society. A regulatory framework must be enforced in the corporate sector. Methods of trading, symmetry of information flows, financial reporting, conduct of corporate members, systematic enforcement of laws and regulations, and a culture of compliance, are all matters that need to be covered under a good corporate governance framework in Bangladesh. Improved corporate culture and values can be achieved through better transparency and managerial accountability.

• Organizations in Bangladesh should make a larger contribution to the achievement of sustainable economic development. They should also introduce initiatives to support disadvantaged groups through programmes aimed at reducing the ‘dependency’ syndrome. Enabling disadvantaged groups by providing easier access to capital assists in the creation and redistribution of wealth.

• Organizations in Bangladesh should become more welfare orientated and work towards redistribution of the countries wealth to better include the poor people of the country. At least Pareto optimality should be achieved by organizations, which should also be the guiding principle to the earning of profit.

CSR in Bangladesh Perspective

Dynamics of Corporate Social Responsibility in Bangladesh 

‘Corporate Social Responsibility’ or CSR for short is a relatively new term that has suddenly gained currency. Hundreds, indeed thousands, of companies are adopting ‘ethical policies’ or ‘codes of conduct’ saying how they intend to behave. More and more companies are signing up to such initiatives as the United Nations Global Compact or the Fair Labor Association. They are joining bodies such as World Business Council for Sustainable Development and CSR Europe. On both sides of the Atlantic there are myriads of conferences and ‘initiatives’, where corporate ‘CSR Executives’, some even from companies with a long anti-union record, meet up with campaigns, NGOs and indeed trade unions. Take the example of McDonald’s. In the 1990s, the hamburger corporation took two campaigners through a long and exhausting libel court case in London after they criticized its corporate practices. Then there was the 2004 film ‘Super Size Me’. Its public image thoroughly dented, today McDonald’s leaflets in the UK show happy local farmers producing organic crops for healthy meals. Or the oil company Unocal, which was severely criticized for knowingly using forced labor to construct a pipeline in Burma, a country run by a vicious regime and subject to an international boycott. Labor rights’ groups in the US took Unocal through the courts. Unocal now has a huge area on its website devoted to CSR. In fact, CSR means different things to different people. However, certain ideas are becoming commonly accepted. One is that CSR is not about philanthropy or charitable work. It refers to something much more fundamental. It is about how companies take responsibility for their actions in the world at large. Conventional CSR Watchdogs include Labor Unions, Consumer Groups, Environmentalists, NGOs and all ‘Stakeholders’ watching over their interest as opposed to ‘Stockholders’ only.

The role of business worldwide and specifically in the developed economies has evolved over the last few decades from classical ‘profit maximizing’ approach to a social responsibly approach, where businesses are not only responsible to its stockholders but also to all of its stakeholders in a broader inclusive sense. One can identify so many reasons for shifting the role of business from classical concept to a responsible business concept, but negative impression of stakeholders on the enterprise would get a higher priority among others. In one hand, enterprises create wealth and job opportunities for the society and on the other; they are polluted and destroy environment and ecology with devastating impact on human health and bio-diversity worldwide.  To address the social problems or the problems of the stakeholders, the business community evolved a new approach in their business strategies named CSR and through CSR enterprises are intent to strike a balance between economic and social goals, where resources are used in a rational manner and social needs are be addressed responsibly.  CSR can be viewed as a comprehensive set of policies, practices, and programs that are integrated into business operations, supply chains, and decision-making processes throughout the company and include responsibilities for current and past actions as well as adequate attention to future impacts. CSR focuses vary by business, by size, by sector and even by geographic region. The umbrella of CSR is quite big and it includes all the good practices that increase the business profitability and can preserve interest of all stakeholders. However, Lotus Holdings defines CSR as “The integration of the interests of the stakeholders – all those affected by a company’s conduct – into the company’s business policies and actions, with a focus on the social, environmental, and financial success of a company, the so-called triple bottom-line with the goal being to positively impact society while achieving business success.”  Thus, the whole range of stakeholders is considered as integral parts of CSR.  One important aspect of CSR is that it is not legal obligation but rather voluntary social and environmental positive initiative to establish an image of environmentally and Socially Responsible Business. The motivation and drive to pursue is chiefly a result of pressure from well organized Consumer Rights movement, specifically in developed world that acts as a watchdog and hardly hesitates to impose Consumer Boycott against a company that violated established CSR practices. An Ideal example is the consumer boycott imposed on purchasing Bangladesh Readymade Garments on the ground that these are produced by under-aged child labor. Despite the fact that in the not so distant past, CSR was more of a charity by affluent or socially responsible business organizations without expecting any financial return, today, it very much a planned investment in creating positive image to enhance profitability.  Under CSR concept, companies decide voluntarily to contribute to a better society and a more sustainable environment. As evolved primarily in the western world, most of the rising companies there practice CSR to enhance the image and acceptability in the community (Green Paper, 2001). There are driving forces behind CSR that include; new concerns and expectations from citizens, consumers, public authorities and investors in the context of globalization. Social criteria are increasingly influencing the investment decisions of individuals and institutions both as consumers and as investors.  Increased concern about the damages caused to the environment by economic activities; transparency of business activities brought about by the media and modern information and communication technologies are all contributing to the changing scenario regarding CSR.  According to Green Paper, 2001, “Few trends could so thoroughly undermine the very foundations of our free society than the acceptance by corporate officials of

a social responsibility other than to make as much money for the stockholders as possible.” (Friedman, 1962).

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in Historical Perspective

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a concept whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and in their interactions with their stakeholders on a voluntary basis. (Green Paper, 2001) Socially responsibility means not only fulfilling legal expectations, but also going beyond compliance and investing ‘more’ into human capital, the environment and in rapport-building with stakeholders.  It is relevant in all types of companies and in all sectors of activity, from MSMEs to Multinational Enterprises (MNEs).  “A number of companies with good social and environmental records indicate that these activities can result in better performance and can generate more profit and growth.  (Green Paper, 2001)  Research (Industry week, 15 January 2001) has shown that about one half of the above average performance of socially responsible companies can be attributed to their CSR image while the other half is explained by their performance. Socially responsible companies are expected to deliver above-average financial returns. (Green Paper, 2001)  CSR has some internal dimensions such as: human resources management, health and safety at work, adaptation to change and management of environmental impact and natural resources. The external dimensions include local communities, business, partners, suppliers and consumers, human rights and global environmental concerns. Again, CSR may be as simple as sponsoring social service oriented entertainment events. In essence, ‘CSR is positive rapport with the society’.  In a Bangladesh context, several multinational companies and local companies practice CSR. While the multinationals are influenced by their own ESRB disposition, most of the business concerns in Bangladesh do not rate high in practicing CSR unless being pressured by the foreign buyers in case of export oriented business.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Implications to Business Activities 

Companies are facing the challenges of adapting effectively to the changing environment in the context of globalization and in particular in the export sector. Although Consumer Rights Movement, enforcement of government regulations and a structured view regarding the economic importance of CRS are not yet so widespread in the corporate world in Bangladesh, companies have gradually attaching more importance to CSR in the local market as well. They are increasingly aware that CSR can be of direct economic value.  Companies can contribute to social and environmental objectives, through integrating CSR as a strategic investment into their core business strategy, management instruments and operations.  This is an investment, not a cost, much like quality management. So, business organizations can thereby have an inclusive financial, commercial and social approach, leading to a long-term strategy minimizing risks linked

to uncertainty.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as Community Development 

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in Bangladesh can also contribute a lot to community development. The corporate house can develop the community by creating employment, providing primary education, contribution to infrastructure development like road and high-ways and addressing environmental concerns. This is more relevant for a country like Bangladesh where the government interventions in these fields being augmented by corporate alliance can go a long way in developing the

economy, society and environment.

CSR Applications and Realities in Bangladesh

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) concepts and practices in Bangladesh have a long history of philanthropic activities from the time immemorial. These philanthropic activities included donations to different charitable organizations, poor people and religious institutions. Till now, most of the businesses in Bangladesh are family owned and first generation businesses. They are involved in the community development work in the form of charity without having any definite policy regarding the expenses or any concrete motive regarding financial gains in many instances. Moreover, most of the SMEs fall under the informal sector having low management structure and resources to address the social and environmental issues. These limitations drive the top management of local companies to think only about the profit maximization rather than doing business considering the triple bottom line: profit, planet and people (CSR definition of Lotus Holdings). The discussions on CSR practices in Bangladesh in its modern global terms, are relatively new, but not so for the concept itself. Because, being a part of the global market, it is difficult to ignore CSR standard specifically in the export sector.   In general, it is true that in Bangladesh, the status of labor rights practices, environmental management and transparency in corporate governance are not satisfactory, largely due to poor enforcement of existing laws and inadequate pressure from civil society and interest groups like Consumer Forums.  Globally, as CSR practices are gradually being integrated into international business practices and hence is becoming one of the determining factors for market accesses, it is becoming equally instrumental for local acceptability. A focus on CSR in Bangladesh would be useful, not only for improving corporate governance, labor rights, work place safety, fair treatment of workers, community development and environment management, but also for industrialization and ensuring global market access.  Since, CSR entails working with stakeholders it is important to work from within and diagnose the stakeholders; concerns so that CSR is truly embedded in the companies.  By now, many CSR dimensions are practiced in Bangladesh. The SMEs largely depend upon export. The EU buyers and US set guidelines to RMG industry to ensure the standards. The 1992 Harkin’s Bill and subsequent consumer and industry boycott of RMG products by USA and the consequent remedial moves by local RMG sector is one example. Moreover, some buyers from EU visited the sites of recently collapsed garments factories.  But, some of the exporters found difficulty in convincing the US/EU buyers to have positive attitude towards Bangladesh due to inadequate CSR practices, Lack of enforcement of Industrial Laws and Regulations, weak unions, absence of consumer rights groups and high level of corruption within the regulatory bodies make CSR violation rampant in Bangladesh. Two most significant foreign exchange sources is the RMG sector and the overseas manpower export. Unbelievably low compensation, working hours, health/hygiene/sanitation conditions, fire safety and various types of abuse are so common and to the extent of inhumanity that wild shock any conscientious individual to the core. Recently, the RMG sector employees have embarked on a industry wide movement to establish their rights. Overseas workers are mostly exploited by recruiting agencies whereas these rural and mostly illiterate people have to sell all their belongings becoming paupers of lend money at very high interest. Owing to cheating by the recruiters and unlawful behavior by the overseas employers, many of them get compelled to come back as beggars, some after long confinement in overseas jails. Hardly any remedy is available from the law enforcing agencies. Many industrial units run with half-century old machinery producing fatal air, soil and water pollutions. More modern factories also don’t care to install Effluent Treatment Plants.

Starting from FMCGs, vegetables, fruits and all other conveyable goods, adulteration, abnormal ripening at times with poisonous elements, keeping fish fresh with applying deadly Formalin and all other malpractice is rampant and carefree. Good Governance and efficient law enforcing agencies can only solve these plights.

Prospects and Future of CSR in Bangladesh

Bangladesh is a developing country. Because of global competitiveness and demand, the CSR practices and standards are being implemented in Bangladesh. But we are yet go a long way. There are challenges to implement CSR properly in Bangladesh. Ultimately Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) practices should be better practiced in Bangladesh for better and enhanced performance. In the publication “Good Governance and Market-Based Reforms: A Study of Bangladesh, Fara Azmat and Ken Coghill relates Good Governance with CSR by discussing the good governance indicators of regulatory quality, rule of law and control of corruption in the context of Bangladesh and analyses how lack of good governance indicators affects the success and sustainability of reforms and contributes to the lack of business ethics and CSR in Bangladesh.

Good Governance and CSR in Bangladesh

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has been defined in general terms as ‘the obligation of the firm to use its resources in ways to benefit society, through committed participation as a member of society, taking into account the society at large and improving the welfare of society at large independent of direct gains of the company’ (Weile et al., 2001: 288). In this article, CSR, as related to the problems of the agricultural input sector of Bangladesh, is used to explain the need of the businesses to be socially responsible and focus on economic, social, legal, ethical and environmental issues. Farmers are being cheated into buying underweight, low quality inputs sometimes at higher prices, which do not benefit yields. The contaminated inputs also cause damage to soil fertility, which eventually results in decreased yields. While the economic aspect is represented by the resultant effect of a price hike on the farmers, the social impact is due to the decrease in farmers’ income. The legal and ethical components are represented by the private sector not complying with the laws and rules and not meeting the obligations placed on them by the state and the society. Finally, the environmental consideration is also important because of the effect of contaminated and unbalanced inputs on the soil and on soil fertility.

As discussed above, lack of effective good governance in Bangladesh has resulted significantly in lack of business ethics and poor CSR culture. According to Wilson (cited in McIntosh and Thomas, 2002: 7), the key idea behind CSR and corporate citizenship is that responsible behavior makes good business sense. In Bangladesh the private sector seems to focus on earning profits in the short term, ignoring the issue of responsible behavior and the desirability of earning the trust of consumers, which are important for the long-run success of their operations. The incidence of selling adulterated low quality products at high prices and with underweight and above all, hoarding to reap dishonest profit, all confirm this. In the absence of a socially responsible behaviors in the private sector, there is need to enhance capacity-building on the part of the state to intervene and implement sanctions effectively to enforce compliance. CSR does not develop and is not sustained independently of the context in which business operates. Importantly, the context includes the legal infrastructure created by the state and the enforcement effort imposed by the state. In the absence of an effective state intervention in the public interest, private entrepreneurs are less constrained to behave in the public interest and in conformity with CSR. Thus lack of capacity or lack of will, or both, by the state weakens the incentives for private sector entrepreneurs to practice CSR.

In addition, private sector entrepreneurs lack expertise and are not efficient and competent enough to take advantage of the open economy. The government has recognized the need for educating the private sector and is undertaking some programmes. However, this is not done on a large scale and nor is the potential exploited sufficiently for NGOs to be involved to educate the private sector on business ethics and issues of corporate social responsibility.

Identification of Problems Regarding CSR:

There are some problems that really affected the CSR activities of Bangladesh Krishi Bank at present. These problems are listed under:

a) Lack of proper rules & regulations for CSR activities.

b) Lack of sufficient fund to run the CSR activities in various sectors.

c) Lack of attention from the management to expedite the CSR programs all over the country, as there is shortage of fund.

d) There is shortage of manpower to run the CSR programs efficiently.

e) As a Govt. bank BKB has to follow the instructions of the concerned ministry before making every kind of expenditure and that is slowing the CSR activities.

f) Finally, CSR is a new concept in the banking arena, though the Private Commercial Banks are doing this practice earlier but the Govt. banks are not that much involved like the PCBs.

This is true that banks are paying more to their CSR activities but not so much as their earning increases. Common CSR practices in Bangladesh by different organization are centered on mainly poverty alleviation, healthcare, education, charity activities, cultural enrichment, youth development, women empowerment, patronizing sports and music etc. It is very concerning that all banks contributes a little amount of profits to CSR. From the study it is clear that participation of different areas of CSR activities of different banks is limited. A prescription has given where there is 22 areas of CSR are identified but most of the banks participation is limited to around 10 to 13 areas. It is a matter of thinking that banks aren’t uses their maximum in CSR areas. There are many areas like engaged in clean water management, engaged in afforestation, waste management, and old person’s homes, accommodation for the slum dwellers, women’s rights and anti-dowry practices, birth control products etc. no participation of any banks. That is very alarming for every bank.

Another think noticed from the study that every bank has good attention and consideration to education and health areas. Every bank of the study contributed highest amount in education and the next area is health. Another important matter, banks are very concern to contribute natural disaster and disaster management specially cyclones (Aila)*, flood effected areas etc. Every bank contributed to our prime minister Relief fund especially for flood-affected people, BDR munity.

Now CSR is a demand of the people to the organization. But CSR contribution of our private CB’s is not only corporate responsibility but also tax rebate benefits. The argument is clear when Bangladesh Bank requested all banks to help flood affected people and their contribution will be treated as CSR activities. CSR disclosure isn’t mandatory in our country but it’s the part of financial statement that is shown in annual report. During the study period it was very difficult to collect each and every types of information of

CSR from annual report. The main limitation was no specific information about CSR, where there is information but no strict information likes amount, areas etc. A few banks mentioned amount in different areas. Most of the banks used other activities but what are the areas and how much amount used no such information. Interestingly a few banks use some information like milad, annual picnic, concert, branch opening, anniversary activates are their CSR activities.

From the study it is easily like to say that our private CB’s are very aware about CSR performance and their contribution are increasing year to year. As a result banks should declare how much amount of their profit would be used to CSR. Banks should use a good portion of their profit to CSR functions. They should increase their contribution areas because 45% areas

no participation at all. Through they are contributed highest amount in education and health but this is not enough. Every bank should make a good attention to the technical education as well as English learning programs. Finally we like to say our private CB’s CSR practices aren’t good enough but it is increasing that will be enlighten our society as well as banks growth.

Conclusion:

Despite a long term trend of decline of share of agriculture sector in GDP, the sector still accounts for about 48 percent of the total employed persons calling for greater institutional and policy supports. Besides, the recent global food crisis on account of natural calamities, increased demand for food, use of crops to produce bio-fuel in the developed countries and protectionist policy adopted by the food exporting countries highlights the urgency of increasing domestic food production and attaining food security through increased investment in this sector and, timely and adequate supply of agricultural inputs including agricultural credit. Keeping in view, the importance of credit for ensuring sustainable growth in the agriculture sector, annual program based indicative disbursement targets of credit by the lending banks are designed. The banks themselves taking into consideration expected demand for credit for the year, previous years’ disbursement and the availability of fund set yearly targets of disbursement. As BKB deals with those people who are mostly ignorant and away from various facilities of the government, BKB people ( Employee and others should maintain high ethical standard and should serve the farmers and relevant people with all out afford.

This is true that banks are paying more to their CSR activities but not so much as their earning increases. Common CSR practices in Bangladesh by different organization are centered on mainly poverty alleviation, healthcare, education, charity activities, cultural enrichment, youth development, women empowerment, patronizing sports and music etc. If we compare their profits that will be clear. It is very concerning that all banks contributes a little amount of profits to CSR. From the study it is clear that participation of different areas of CSR activities of different banks is limited. A prescription has given where there is 22 areas of CSR are identified but most of the banks participation is limited to around 10 to 13 areas. It is a matter of thinking that banks aren’t uses their maximum in CSR areas. There are many areas like engaged in clean water management, engaged in forestation, waste management, and old person’s homes, accommodation for the slum dwellers, women’s rights and anti-dowry practices, birth control products etc. no participation of any banks. That is very alarming for every bank. Another think noticed from the study that every bank has good attention and consideration to education and health areas. Every bank of the study contributed highest amount in education and the next area is health. Another important matter, banks are very concern to contribute natural disaster and disaster management specially cyclones (Aila)*, flood effected areas etc. Every bank contributed to our prime minister Relief fund especially for flood-affected people, BDR mutiny. Now CSR is a demand of the people to the organization. But CSR contribution of our private CB’s is not only corporate responsibility but also tax rebate benefits. The argument is clear when Bangladesh Bank requested all banks to help flood affected people and their contribution will be treated as CSR activities. CSR disclosure isn’t mandatory in our country but it’s the part of financial statement that is shown in annual report. During the study period it was very difficult to collect each and every types of information of CSR from annual report. The main limitation was no specific information about CSR, where there is information but no strict information likes amounting, areas etc. Most of the banks used other activities but what are the areas and how much amount used no such information. Interestingly a few banks use some information like milad, annual picnic, concert, branch opening, anniversary activates are their CSR activities. From the study it is easily like to say that our private CB’s are very aware about CSR performance and their contribution are increasing year to year. As a result banks should declare how much amount of their profit would be used to CSR. Banks should use a good portion of their profit to CSR functions. They should increase their contribution areas because 45% areas no participation at all. Through they are contributed highest amount in education and health but this is not enough. Every bank should make a good attention to the technical education as well as English learning programs. Every bank should follow the practices of CSR. Finally we like to say our  CSR practices banks in Bangladesh aren’t good enough but it is increasing that will be enlighten our society as well as banks growth.

The report is completely based on data collected from the secondary sources. Mainly Bangladesh Bank Web Site and publications are the source. Agriculture is the most important sector and provides a crucial role in the economy of Bangladesh. Banks always contribute towards the economical development of a country.  Agri Farm, Poultry, fishery are playing a major part of the demand of food in Bangladesh.

In conclusion, it may be said that banks corporate social responsibility reporting practice is developing day by day. They are trying to follow the rules of finance act. But their participation is not satisfactory in all areas. There are about 45% areas where no contribution. So they must think about the issue of areas. Private commercial banks have a great contribution in our economy so it’s a self-introductory matter of them to report corporate social responsibility information in the annual report to flourish their image in the society as well as to develop an accountable society. However, the conclusion is subject to certain limitations noted earlier and requires more sample and relevant data for further research.

POLICY  RECOMMENDATIONS:

Adequate corporate social responsibility disclosure has important implications for the credibility of the capital markets in transition economies. We see a role for the corporate regulators to promote the improvement of such disclosure in the annual reports of Bangladesh firms. Mandating of corporate social responsibility disclosure would provide better transparency of corporate activity. This, in turn, will promote ethical business processes, which can have an important role to play in the mitigation of social obligations.  In this study we did not investigate the levels of institutional or large shareholdings in the cases examined. However, the role of large institutions in corporate governance is particularly important in transition economies. This is an area, which is likely to yield important information if examined in the context of the Bangladesh banking sector. The study is not conclusive but it has some essential indications as a guideline for future research.

This study has reinforced the idea that corporate organizations have a greater role to bring about the closer relationship between corporations and the society. Through CSR activities corporate organizations can carry out social and philanthropic activities for furthering equitable and sustainable social development. This study has found out that CSR activities so far are merely implemented for maintaining business policy without really fostering social and benevolent intentions and social responsibility. Many commitments and obligations are only in black and white without really implementing at the grassroots level and there is a demonstrated gap between the rhetoric and realities of CSR activities. Lack of such commitment has in fact resulted into failure of the CSR activities to bring about its comprehensive, effective and potential contribution. Most corporate organizations, including BKB in Bangladesh, practice CSR because of their business enlargement or for promoting organizational image and recognition. Although CSR activities have a high potential for societal contribution, so far there has been a very little contribution towards family, society and the nation. Needless to say that BKB has a demonstrated significant contribution to environment and disaster management and infrastructure and sports sector. However, such contribution is just a tip on the iceberg as many other big organizations are not coming forward to play their part.

Bangladesh Krishi Bank

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