April 3: Commercial and development banks have started donating money to the fund set up by the government in an effort to minimize the impact of the coronavirus pandemic .
The banks have started voluntarily contributing to the cause after the government imposed a nationwide lockdown on March 24 to contain the spread of the pandemic.
As of Thursday (April 2), around Rs 2 billion has been collected in the fund. The contribution of 27 A-class commercial banks alone stands at Rs 254 million, according to Nepal Bankers’ Association.
Meanwhile, Rastriya Banijya Bank has contributed Rs 18.5 million while Nepal Bank Limited has contributed Rs 13.5 million. Agriculture Development Bank has deposited Rs 16 million in the fund.
Other banks who have contributed to the fund include NMB Bank (Rs 15.1 million), Global IME Bank (Rs11.5 million), Bank of Kathmandu (Rs10.5 million), Citizens Bank (Rs 5 million), Century Bank (Rs 8.5 million), Civil Bank (Rs 7.8 million), Himalayan Bank (Rs 12.5 million), Kumari Bank (Rs 7 million), Laxmi Bank (Rs 10 million), Machhapuchhre Bank (Rs 10.06 million), Mega Bank (Rs 13.5 million), NCC Bank (Rs 10 million), Nepal Bangladesh Bank (Rs 14.5 million), Nepal SBI Bank (Rs 10 million), Nepal Investment Bank (Rs 10 million), Prabhu Bank (Rs 10.1 million), Prime Bank (Rs 17.5 million), Sanima Bank (Rs 16.8 million) and Siddhartha Bank (Rs 8.5 million).
Meanwhile, Standard Chartered Bank, Sunrise Bank, NIC Asia Bank, Nabil Bank and Everest Bank are said to be holding internal discussion about contributing to the fund. All of these banks have pledged to support the government initiative.
The fund collected around Rs 1 billion on Thursday alone. According to the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers (OPMCM), the fund has received around Rs 2 billion from generous contributors.
The government had set up the fund on March 24 with an initial contribution of Rs 500 million to provide relief to the sectors affected by coronavirus. Spokesperson at the OPMCM Rajendra Kumar Poudel informed that the fund is receiving more contributions day by day.
Finance Minister Yuba Raj Khatiwada informed that the transactions of the fund will be transparent as the government has already formed a work procedure to mobilise the fund.
It has been learnt that the fund will be basically used to procure medicines and equipment for coronavirus and for free treatment of the patients.