The Govt is making sure that banking services are up while the country goes into a lockdown to combat the spread of coronavirus. The Department of Financial Services has told the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) to ensure that all electronic and digital payment modes and channels function unhindered. It has directed the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) to coordinate with banks to ensure cash availability in ATMs. The department has also written to every state to ensure the mobility of bank employees to overcome the difficulties they face in reaching the branches. Several bank employees could not make it to offices as public transport came to a halt.
Several banks are keeping bank branches open cluster-wise and rotating staff to keep the risk of spreading the virus under check. It has requested to permit bank staff, RBI staff, NPCI staff and cash logistics companies to travel during the lockdown.
The most affected sectors are aviation, tourism, shipping, hotels, MSME, manufacturing, transport, commercial vehicle and real estate. The outbreak of COVID-19 could bring the already struggling banking sector to its knees as India enters a 21-day national lockdown.