Here's how Indian banks will operate during the 21-day lock down
- Photos show that
Indian banksare taking precautionary measures to enforce social distancingwithin branches.
- Essential services at banks will continue during the 21-day lock down announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
- The Ministry of Finance requested state administrations to allow bankers leave their homes so that ATMs can be restocked and cheques can be cleared.
- Follow the comprehensive coverage of the coronavirus pandemic and its impact, and other useful resources that can help you in the fight on Business Insider India.
Even before the lockdown was called on March 24, banks were already finding innovative ways to implement social distancing. Many roped up counters and desks to keep at least a meter of distance between branch officers and customers. Hand sanitizers have also been placed at all windows, outside the branch and at ATMs.
The Indian Bank’s Association (IBA) has asked all banks to maintain at least four services for its customers:
- Cash deposits and withdrawal
- Clearing cheques
- Government transactions
Even though banks are an essential service, some bankers aren’t being allowed to leave their home by state authorities, according to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). To address the situation the Ministry of Finance has written to the chief secretaries of all states to allow the physical movement of bank employees.
“It is expected that people’s need for and reliance on electronic and digital modes of payment, and ATMs for cash withdrawals, will be greater in the days to come,” said the letter by Madnesh Kumar Mishra, joint secretary to the government of India.
In Chandigarh, the administration has issued a list of 27 branches that will be allowed to stay open even though there’s a curfew imposed on the city. In Mumbai, where a curfew has also been imposed, government-owned Bank of Baroda is reimbursing its employees with ₹200 a day to cover their transit costs as public transportation shut down.
Canara Bank took a different approach. It is going to credit each employee’s salary with an extra ₹1,000 at the end of the month for sanitizer, masks and other sanitary supply expenditures.
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