An SBI bank branch in Gwalior | ANI
An SBI bank branch in Gwalior | ANI
Text Size:

New Delhi: Gwalior district in Madhya Pradesh, which ordered a complete shutdown for a week beginning Tuesday, also included banking services within city limits to be shut. This is the first time there has been such a disruption to banking services due to the Covid pandemic.

The order was issued Tuesday by Gwalior District Magistrate Kauslendra Vikram Singh. It said the move was taken due to instances of flouting of social distancing norms.

According to the district authorities, banks and their branches will not be allowed any public dealings and customers will not be allowed to enter any bank premises during this curfew. Services, which were suspended on 14 July, will remain so until 21 July, the order stated.

The order further said branches of both private and public sector banks can open for employees but no services will be provided to customers. Banks are also permitted to refill automated teller machines (ATMs).

The curbs on operation of bank branches comes during the Unlock phase of India’s battle against the pandemic. Beginning 8 June, after a two-month lockdown, cities started reopening gradually, but the number of coronavirus cases have continued to rise.

At present, more than 9.3 lakh cases have been reported, of which around 3.19 lakh are active.


Also read: Gwalior residents found without mask or violating lockdown have to volunteer in hospitals

We are deeply grateful to our readers & viewers for their time, trust and subscriptions.

Quality journalism is expensive and needs readers to pay for it. Your support will define our work and ThePrint’s future.

SUBSCRIBE NOW


During the nationwide lockdown that began on 25 March, banking services were classified as an essential service and customers were allowed access to bank branches. However, customers could only access basic banking services like cash withdrawals and deposits, cheque deposits and money transfer during the first few weeks.

Public relations officer for Gwalior district administration, G.S. Maurya said that the decision was taken in a meeting of the crisis management cell to mitigate a huge surge in infections in the district.

Gwalior has reported more than 1,200 cases, but of these, more than 300 were recorded on Sunday and Monday.

Another district, Morena, also issued orders to restrict the work timings of bank branches to between 10am and 2pm for those operating within the municipal city limits.

Bankers at risk

Bank unions have been vocal in their demands of curtailment in bank branch timings to four hours daily as well as declaring all Saturdays as holidays. The unions pointed out that with the easing of restrictions, there had been an increase in customers coming to banks, thereby increasing the risk to bankers and potentially turning banks into transmission hubs for the virus.

“Banks have been open throughout the lockdown. Initially, banks saw people thronging the branches due to the Rs 500 monthly payout by the central government to Jan Dhan accounts owned by women. Limited banking services were also allowed for all,” said a banker who works with the Central Bank of India in Madhya Pradesh.

“With the unlock phase, bank branches are seeing many customers coming to the branches, some for even non-urgent transactions like updating passbooks,” the banker said, adding that there is a need for the government to take some concrete steps to protect bankers.


Also read: What’s common between Gwalior admin and Indian parents? Love for punishment, Covid or not


 

Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

News media is in a crisis & only you can fix it

You are reading this because you value good, intelligent and objective journalism. We thank you for your time and your trust.

You also know that the news media is facing an unprecedented crisis. It is likely that you are also hearing of the brutal layoffs and pay-cuts hitting the industry. There are many reasons why the media’s economics is broken. But a big one is that good people are not yet paying enough for good journalism.

We have a newsroom filled with talented young reporters. We also have the country’s most robust editing and fact-checking team, finest news photographers and video professionals. We are building India’s most ambitious and energetic news platform. And we aren’t even three yet.

At ThePrint, we invest in quality journalists. We pay them fairly and on time even in this difficult period. As you may have noticed, we do not flinch from spending whatever it takes to make sure our reporters reach where the story is. Our stellar coronavirus coverage is a good example. You can check some of it here.

This comes with a sizable cost. For us to continue bringing quality journalism, we need readers like you to pay for it. Because the advertising market is broken too.

If you think we deserve your support, do join us in this endeavour to strengthen fair, free, courageous, and questioning journalism, please click on the link below. Your support will define our journalism, and ThePrint’s future. It will take just a few seconds of your time.

Support Our Journalism

Share Your Views

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here