Will speak to banks to facilitate cash flow, provide timely access: FM
New Delhi: Lauding efforts of bankers in this difficult time, Union Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday said 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 'mitras'.
"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 the 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.
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 sanitisers or masks while entering the branches and to carry all documents required for the transaction.