To contain various states have announced partial or complete lockdowns for varying periods. Important services like bank have taken steps to play their part.
For instance, a recent Economic Times news report stated that Indian banking services, apart from basic payment and transfer operations, are likely to come to a halt as lenders impose restrictions on the movement of employees and their interaction with customers to protect them from Covid-19. Although banking is an essential service – key staff will be allowed to attend work during state-imposed curbs – new loans, project appraisals, negotiations for fresh terms for existing loans will have to wait.
“We request all our customers to bear with us as other non-essential services during this period may be suspended,” the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) said in a note. “We will continue providing banking services to our valued customers. However, we appeal to everyone to visit branch premises only in case of absolute necessity. Our employees are also facing the same challenges that you are and so we are asking for your help too.”
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the government, too, have been urging banking customers to use digital transactions as much as possible.
Along with the restriction in movement across various states, there are many bank holidays in the next two weeks across various states. For instance, in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Manipur, on March 25 banks will be shut on account of Gudhi Padwa/Ugadi Festival/Telugu New Year’s Day/Sajibu Nongmapanba (Cheiraoba)/1st Navratra.
Across the country banks will be shut on Saturday, March 28, since it is the fourth Saturday of the month.
The week after that, on April 1, banks will be shut for annual closing of accounts. In states like Maharashtra, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and so on, April 2, banks will be shut on account of Ram Navami. It is not a bank holiday in New Delhi.