If you have to visit any bank on business, you have only Friday (March 26) to complete it before banks close down for a nine-day period between March 27 and April 4, when they would be working only on three days.
Between strikes and holidays, banking operations in the country are set to be hit in March and the first week of the April, putting millions of customers in trouble.
Banking operations including ATMs were closed in the country on March 15 and 16 following a strike call by unions of bank employees. Banks were closed for four days at a stretch since March 13 and 14 were second Saturday, a banking holiday, and Sunday.
As if that disruption was not enough, March 30 and April 3 would be the working days for banks till April 4, guaranteeing overcrowded counters and frayed nerves in different branches.
A large number of senior citizens, who are pensioners, might be particularly affected since they visit the bank to withdraw money from pension accounts at the beginning of every month.
However, ATM services would continue during this nine-day period, banking unions have said.
Banking services like deposits, withdrawals at branches, cheque clearance and loan approvals would be directly affected due to the long closure.
Suspension of banking services badly affects areas which are serviced by branch banking operations and where ATM services are not sufficient.
The impending holiday run of banks will begin on Saturday – fourth Saturday is a holiday. Monday is closed on account of Holi.
Banks will function on Tuesday and again close down on April 1. Friday will be closed for Good Friday (April 2).
Operations will resume on April 3, Saturday, before the weekly holiday on Sunday.
The strike on March 15 and 16 was called by United Forum of Bank Unions that is an umbrella body of nine unions to protest against the plans of the Centre to privatise two public sector bank as a part of the government’s disinvestment drive.
Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said during the budget speech that two PSU banks (besides IDBI Bank) will be privatised during 2021-22. Also on the privatisation list is a general insurance company.
Apprehending the disruption in services due to the strike, major banks like the State Bank of India and Canara Bank had informed stock exchanges about the strike.
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