The country's biggest lender State Bank of India on Monday said it will provide 0.25 per cent of its annual profit for 2019-20 to fight the coronavirus outbreak in India.
The announcement came hours after the government notified spending by companies to deal with the coronavirus outbreak as corporate social responsibility (CSR) activity under the companies law.
The fund used to fight the coronavirus pandemic will be spent from CSR funds, SBI said in a statement.
"This is in line with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs' notification of spending CSR funds for COVID-19 as an eligible CSR activity," it said.
Companies' expenditure to deal with the coronavirus outbreak will be considered as CSR activities.
Over 400 people have been infected by coronavirus and at least seven people have died while many states have announced lockdown to curb spread of infections.
The bank will use this fund for various activities related to COVID-19 mainly to support health care for underprivileged people in cooperation with healthcare professionals and industry, it said.
Some of the initiatives will centre around promotion of healthcare, including preventive health care, sanitation and disaster management, it added.
"This is a time for the nation to be united. We at SBI will continue our support towards the people and communities of India amidst this critical period in the best possible way," SBI Chairman Rajnish Kumar said.
"I also urge all the responsible corporate citizens to come forward and not only take all precautionary preventive measures for entire staff, their families and people around but also contribute generously to support fellow countrymen who need financial help in these unprecedented difficult times," he added.
Earlier in the day, the government said spending by corporates to deal with the coronavirus outbreak will be considered as CSR activity under the companies law.
Under the companies law, certain classes of profitable entities have to shell out at least 2 per cent of their three-year annual net profit towards CSR activities in a particular financial year.
CSR funds could be utilised for various activities related to coronavirus, including those related to preventive healthcare and sanitation, as per the circular.