The country’s largest private sector lender ICICI Bank will be spending Rs 200 crore on social sector projects this fiscal and meet the mandatory 2 percent CSR spend norms, its chief Chanda Kochhar said today.
This financial year, the bank will be spending almost Rs 100 crore on skill development, the bank’s Managing Director and Chief Executive told reporters on the sidelines of a bank event here. When asked about the roadmap for achieving the government-mandated target of 2 per cent of profit on corporate social responsibility (CSR) projects, she said, “Our spends group-wide are almost close to the 2 per cent target.” Kochhar was speaking after its 22nd skill development academy was inaugurated by Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis at suburban Andheri.
She said the bank has already trained 60,000 underprivileged people in 13 specifically identified skill-sets, and is targeting to take the number to 1 lakh in the next 15 months. Over 30 per cent of the people who have been skilled for free include rural women, she said. Fadnavis said skilling the population is imperative for the country, failing which the large percentage of population in the working age group will turn into a “demographic disaster”.
Fadnavis said his government is creating a framework to skill the population and welcomed the work done by bodies like Pune’s Symbiosis, which is planning to set up a skills university. Kochhar also launched a programme wherein anybody can refer candidates to the skills academy through a dedicated website. She said four of the 22 academies are located in Pune, Nagpur and Narsobachiwadi.
At the skill academies, pupils are taught diverse vocational skills like air-conditioner repairing, 2-3-wheelers repairing, office administration and sales, among others. Apart from this, the bank has also helped get electricity to seven off-grid villages in the backward Jawahar tehsil of the newly created Palghar district through solar power, she said.