India's best bank for CSR 2020: Punjab National Bank
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India's best bank for CSR 2020: Punjab National Bank

Punjab National Bank

CH SS Mallikarjuna Rao, MD & CEO, Punjab National Bank.jpg
Mallikarjuna Rao, Punjab National Bank

As a state-owned bank, Punjab National Bank has a big mandate concerning corporate social responsibility. But it is a mission it has embraced wholeheartedly, making it Asiamoney’s choice for best bank for CSR for the second year in a row.

The bank’s focus is clear: work on areas that are closely linked with socio-economic development and support government schemes and programmes around alleviating poverty, creating jobs and helping the country’s development.

PNB has put its emphasis on agriculture, affordable housing, the empowerment of women and weaker sectors of society, as well as on micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. Its lending to these priority sectors, as it calls them, rose to about Rs1.8 trillion ($24.6 billion) in the year to March 2019, from about Rs1.7 trillion the previous year and Rs1.4 trillion in the 12 months ending March 2017.

But more than this lending, PNB, led by new chief executive Mallikarjuna Rao under chairman Sunil Mehta, deserves credit for its involvement in promoting three of the government’s social security schemes through its enormous branch network. PNB has managed to boost the number of people signed up to a government accident insurance scheme, a life insurance scheme and a pension scheme – no small feat in a country such as India where a unique identification system for its 1.3 billion people was only launched 11 years ago.

In addition, PNB organizes health check-up camps, tree plantation programmes and blood donation camps across different parts of the country, while also promoting sports among the underprivileged. It has set its sights on 169 villages to develop, offered monetary support to girl students and helped government schools to build toilets.

PNB is also giving farmers free training to equip them with some key skillsets, including computer learning courses.