All bank branches across the country will be operational from Monday. The government issued an advisory to banks to keep their branches open to ease the pressure of salary and pension payment. Banks will remain open from 10am to 2pm.
The Department Of Financial Services (DFS) asked banks to ensure that all branches and channels are functional throughout the 21-day coronavirus lockdown so that all financial transactions can take place without disruption, as mentioned in a report in The Economic Times. The DFS advisory was also aimed at the rural customers who would be benefited from the government's Rs 1.7 lakh crore financial package.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had also announced special measures for annual closing of government accounts for FY20. The apex bank also advised banks to keep the over-the-counter windows open up to normal hours for government transactions on March 31, as mentioned in the daily.
The government had stated that cash deposit and withdrawal, clearing of cheques, government transactions, ATMs, remittance services were all essential services and would be exempted from the lockdown restrictions. It also said that all banks would operate with skeletal staff and provide the basic services. This advisory is likely to remain unchanged.
Banks were following cluster-wise banking so far during the lockdown, under which a single branch of a bank functioned under a 5km radius in urban and semi-urban areas. In rural areas, branches were open on alternate days. Meanwhile, coronavirus cases continue to rise in India, with the total active cases reaching up to 1,649. So far, 41 deaths have been reported in India. Wednesday saw the biggest spike in cases so far with 300 coronavirus cases.