coronavirus: Banking services will continue unhindered during the lockdown: Nirmala Sitharaman

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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman assured citizens that banking services will continue unhindered during the lockdown.

In a series of one-on-one calls with the heads of all major public sector banks (PSBs) and representatives of private banks, Sithraman said the banks were doing their best to ensure customer service without disruption, through social media on Saturday.

“Had a detailed conversation with chiefs of Banks-public & private. Encouraging to know that they are doing their best, even during the lockdown. They are certain that they’ll ensure customer service without disruption. Social distancing is being adhered to as well,” the minister said via social media.

During the calls, the finance minister instructed the heads of all PSBs to ensure all ATMs and branches remained open and to implement social distancing norms at all points. She also asked them to ensure adequate liquidity at these levels to cater to customers’ needs.

Acknowledging their efforts the minister said, “Bank officials and staff have consistently been on the frontline in providing services to customers during this time of adversity, whether it is physically providing cash where it is needed or keeping branches open no matter what,” on social media.

The updates come amid rumours that certain bank branches were closed in the wake of the 21-day lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Sitharaman also took to social media to announce the various measures PSBs had implemented to provide financial relief to customers and businesses.

From cheaper working capital loans to emergency credit lines, PSBs are ensuring cashflow mismatches and delayed salaries do not further burden MSMEs and their employees.

In another update through social media, the finance minister said that corporate affairs secretary Injeti Srinivas held discussions with industry chamber representatives to address their issues, adding that the ministry would continuously respond to their inputs.

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