Finance minister plea and pat for banks
The finance ministry has asked both public and private sector banks to ensure adequate liquidity at the branches and ATMs and at the banking correspondent level while maintaining social distancing.
“In a concall with bank chiefs, I asked them to ensure that all branches and ATMs remain open and continue operations,” finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in a series of tweets after a conference call with chiefs of private and state-owned banks.
She asked them to ensure that all branches and ATMs continue operations while implementing social distancing at all points, provide authorisation to bank staff to work and coordinate with the district administration for the movement of bank employees.
She acknowledged the role of public sector banks and encouraged them to keep up their efforts in providing uninterrupted banking services across the country.
Earlier in the day, she tweeted that she appreciated the services of the bank mitra/banking correspondents and would request the states to ensure there were no restrictions on their movement.
Banking correspondents play a key role in financial inclusion and help customers, especially in the rural areas, where banking services are limited.
The minister also said she will ask banks to facilitate cash flow to ensure timely access to funds.
'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,' Sitharaman said.
To ensure easy access of funds to the beneficiaries, role of banks and banking correspondents is crucial.
'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.
The Secretary of Corporate Affairs on Saturday addressed the concerns of CII, FICCI, 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 tweeted.
Expectations are that the government could provide some relief measures to the corporate including aviation, auto sectors among others after announcing certain statutory and compliance benefits for the next three months.
The government has announced a Rs 1.70 lakh crore package for the poor to help them mitigate the woes after the nationwide lockdown was imposed from 25 March. The government also stopped all modes of transport and sealed state borders to restrict movement of people.
Even though the government has allowed movement of essential goods, including food items, and medicines, there have been reports on local police restricting movement and delivery of essential services.