Govt directs banks to remain operational during 21-day lockdown: Report

The government has ordered all of its banks to remain operational during the three-week shutdown against coronaviruses as part of essential services and to ensure that social assistance plans that are part of a government stimulus package of 22, $ 6 billion reaches the poor.

“It is very crucial and essential to keep the banking channels open and to ensure that the branches and the correspondent banks operate throughout the closed period, so that people do not face any hassle or problem in their transactions financial, “said a March 27 government decree seen by Reuters.

Last week, India announced a $ 22.6 billion economic stimulus package that includes direct cash transfers and food security measures, providing relief to millions of poor affected by Prime Minister’s foreclosure Minister Narendra Modi to stem the coronavirus pandemic.

On Sunday evening, the State Bankers’ Committee (SLBC) of West Bengal issued a notice to all state banks to remain operational every working day.

In light of the orders, we have “decided to lift the previous opinion on the cluster approach in urban areas and the alternative daytime approach in rural areas for the opening of bank branches,” says the SLBC.

A similar opinion was issued in Bihar state, two sources said. Following the directive from the Department of Finance, various state governments have entered into talks with the bankers’ committee to dissuade them from temporarily closing their branches.

However, in some states like Punjab, bank hours would be reduced with minimal staff, bank officials said.

Reuters reported last week that some banks are considering a cluster-based approach in big cities and are also thinking about the fact that rural bank branches work every day to protect employees from the fast-spread coronavirus and due to a decrease in the presence of customers in bank branches.

India now has more than 1,000 cases of coronavirus, of which 29 have died, the Ministry of Health announced on Monday.


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