Will speak to Banks to facilitate cash flow: FM

Will speak to Banks to facilitate cash flow: FM
Nirmala Sitharaman
NEW DELHI, MAR 28 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 3/28/2020 12:06:40 PM IST

Lauding efforts of bankers in this difficult time, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday said that she will speak to all banks to facilitate cash flow and enable timely access to all. She also assured that she will talk to states and ensure that there are no restrictions in the movement of cash, bankers, vendors or bank mitra.

“Appreciate the service Bank Mitra/Banking Correspondents are undertaking across the country. Will talk to states - request no restrictions in their movements. Will speak to all banks to facilitate cash flow. Let’s ensure timely access to all,” the Finance Minister said in a series of tweets.

It is to be noted that the government earlier this week announced a slew of measures, including direct benefit transfer of cash assistance to poor, old age people and disabled, for mitigating hardship posed by outbreak of coronavirus. “The entire banking fraternity deserves recognition and thanks for their tireless and brave efforts to ensure that banking services continue in these adverse times and that every customer is reached in a timely and safe manner,” she said.

Appreciating efforts of bankers, she said, “Bank officials and staff have consistently been on the frontline in providing services to customers during this time of adversity, whether it is physically providing cash where it is needed or keeping branches open no matter what”.

According to Indian Banks’ Association (IBA), 1,05,988 bank branches across the country were operational on Friday.

However, banks are closed on Saturday and Sunday.

The Secretary of Corporate Affairs on Saturday addressed the concerns of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), the Associated Chambers of Commerce of India (ASSOCHAM) and PHD Chamber in view of nationwide COVID-19 lockdown.

“Secretary, Corporate Affairs, has held discussions with Confederation of Indian Industry, FICCI, ASSOCHAM, and PHD Chamber to hear and address their concerns. Ministry of Finance will continuously remain and respond to Industry’s inputs,” Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman tweeted.

Meanwhile, the Finance Minister appreciated the service banks correspondents across the country and said that she will talk to states and request for no restrictions in their movements.

Meanwhile, IBA has appealed to customers to strictly observe social distancing and avoid visiting branches unless very necessary.

Avoid touching counters, common places by maintaining proper distance from staff before and after physical transactions, IBA said.

It also urged customers to avoid crowding and maintain 1 to 1.5 metre distance between each other in the queue and only 5-6 customers to enter the branch at a time.

Anyone with cough and cold symptoms to avoid physical transactions, and asked senior citizens and children to desist from going to branches, it said.

The association also asked customers to use gloves or sanitizers or masks while entering the branches, and to carry all documents required for transaction.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced a 21-day lockdown in the entire country effective from midnight to deal with the spread of coronavirus, saying that “social distancing” is the only option to combat the disease.



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