State-owned Canara Bank will issue up to 6 crore equity shares to its staff to raise up to Rs 1,000 crore under employee stock purchase scheme. The bank has plans to raise Rs 7,000 crore during 2018-19. "The board has decided to raise equity share capital up to Rs 60 crore ( i e up to 6 crore equity shares), through Canara Bank Employee Share Purchase Scheme (Can Bank-ESPS) amounting to a maximum of Rs 1,000 crore," the bank said in a regulatory filing. The capital is to be raised in one or more tranches subject to mandatory\/regulatory approvals from various agencies, including the government. The government in March 2017 had allowed public sector banks to offer stock options to their employees, aimed at retaining experienced hands and better incentives besides a means of capital raise. Punjab National Bank, Allahabad Bank and United Bank have already announced their plans under employee stock option schemes. Shares of Canara Bank closed 2.14 per cent down at Rs 247.50 apiece on BSE.