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KOLKATA: With the State Level Bankers Committee (SLBC) issuing a notice on Wednesday that banks will remain shut on all lockdown days and the state ordering its closure on all Saturdays for now, salaried people as well as pensioners are likely to face inconvenience while withdrawing money next month.
The government has so far announced total lockdown in Bengal on July 23, 25 and 29, while August begins on a weekend, 1st and 2nd being a Saturday and a Sunday. Going by the directives, all banking activities, including salary payment, pension payment and commercial transactions, will not be carried out on July 29, August 1 and August 2. RBI in the city will also reportedly remain shut on lockdown days. SLBC convenor A K Jha, however, told TOI that the currency chest would remain open and it was making all arrangements to keep ATMs replenished. “The first two days next month are on the weekend but we will ensure ATMs run properly,” he said.
On July 21, All India Bank Officers’ Confederation and United Forum of Bank Unions had sought clarifications from SLBC on bank norms on lockdown days. “In Lockdown 1.0, banking services were included on the list of exempted service. But in the latest government order, it was not on the list,” they said. Former deputy chief secretary of SBI Staff Association Ashok Mukherjee argued banks did not fall under essential services and so, they should be shut.