Banking, insurance operations to continue during extended coronavirus lockdown, says Govt

As per the revised guidelines, IT vendors for banking operations, banking correspondents, ATM operations and cash management agencies will also be functional.

Banking, insurance operations to continue during extended coronavirus lockdown, says Govt
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New Delhi: Issuing fresh guidelines for the second phase of the lockdown, which will be in effect till May 3, the government on Wednesday said important financial services like banking and insurance will continue to function during the period to help people meet their financial needs.

These activities were also allowed during the first phase of a 21-day nationwide lockdown which ended on Tuesday.

"The important components of the financial sector, e.G., RBI, banks, ATMs, capital and debt markets as notified by SEBI and insurance companies will also remain functional, with a view to provide enough liquidity and credit support to the industrial sectors," the consolidated revised guidelines issued by the Home Ministry said.

As per the revised guidelines, IT vendors for banking operations, banking correspondents, ATM operations and cash management agencies will also be functional.

Bank branches are allowed to work as per normal working hours till disbursal of DBT cash transfers are complete, it said, adding, local administration is to provide adequate security personnel at bank branches and for banking correspondents to maintain social distancing and staggering of account holders.

Direct Benefit Transfer(DBT) to the poor and vulnerable section of society, hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak and the consequent lockdown, is providing financial support for sustaining during these difficult times.

It further said the digital economy is critical to the services sector and is important for national growth.? Accordingly, e-commerce operations, operations of IT and IT enabled services, data and call centres for government activities, and online teaching and distance learning are all permitted activities now.

The revised consolidated guidelines are aimed at operating those sectors of the economy which are critical from the perspective of rural and agricultural development and job creation, while maintaining strict protocols in areas where safety is paramount to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the country, it added.