Banks branches will remain open as per normal working hours till the disbursal of direct benefit transfer (DBT) of cash is complete, the government on Wednesday said. Bank branches and ATMs, information technology vendors for banking operations, banking correspondents (BCs), ATM operations and cash management agencies would operate as usual from April 20, the Union Home Ministry also said in the latest guidelines for the coronavirus lockdown.
The local administration will provide for adequate security personnel at bank branches and BCs to maintain social distancing, law and order and adequate staggering of the bank account holders, the government also said. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and RBI regulated financial markets and entities such as NPCI, CCIL, payment system operators and standalone primary dealers are also allowed to operate.
However, the revised guidelines will not be allowed in the containment zones, the government said. "If any new area is included in the category of containment zone, the activities allowed in that area till the time of its categorization as a containment zone,will be suspended except for those activities as are specifically permitted under the guidelines of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW)," it said.
On Tuesday morning, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address to the nation said that India's holistic and integrated approach in taking quick and decisive action helped it to substantially contain spread of virus as against the several other countries that had been at par with India till about a month and a half ago. Modi also announced extension of the nationwide lockdown till May 3 in view of the rising coronavirus positive cases across the country. The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in India stands at 11,439 including active COVID-19 cases at 9,756, and death toll climbed to 377, according to latest data by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.