New Delhi: Bank officers’ union All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC) has registered a protest against the Reserve Bank of India’s decision to keep bank branches open on all holidays till 1 April to facilitate government tax collection.
“In our opinion, the necessity to open the branches for transacting government business on all holidays one week before the end of the financial year is not at all required. There are four full normal working days between 25th and 31st March 2017, which is more than enough to complete all government transactions,” AIBOC said in a statement.
In a letter written to RBI governor Urjit Patel, AIBOC said that due to the notification, bank employees won’t be able to celebrate Navaratri, Ugadi, Gudi Padwa and many other festivals falling between 25 March and 1 April. It is nothing short of hurting the religious sentiments of our people who worked under lot of pressure during demonetisation.
Many branches across the country reported nil tax collection as people were not aware of RBI late night notification. Most of the field functionaries received the communication in the morning, therefore branches opened late and hardly a few customers turned up, a senior public sector bank official said.
“The announcement at the eleventh hour by RBI was a futile exercise as no data centres were prepared for collection of tax. Neither were customers properly informed, nor bankers. So, who benefited remains a big question,” the official said, adding, in the entire process, bankers lost a holiday.
RBI, in a late night statement on Friday said, all banks have been advised to keep all their branches dealing with government business open on all days in the current financial year and on 1 April (including Saturday, Sunday and all holidays) to facilitate government receipt and payment functions. “The concerned departments of the Reserve Bank undertaking government business will also remain open on the above days,” the central bank had said.