Banks to remain open on weekend for exchanging high-value rupee notes

Banks will remain open on coming Saturday and Sunday to deal with the rush of people expected to exchange currency notes of Rs500 and Rs1,000 denominations


Even as bank branches will remain open, it is still not clear whether post offices would be operational or not on the weekend. Photo: Abhijit Ahaskar/Mint
Even as bank branches will remain open, it is still not clear whether post offices would be operational or not on the weekend. Photo: Abhijit Ahaskar/Mint

New Delhi: Banks will remain open on coming Saturday and Sunday to deal with the rush of people expected to queue up at branches to exchange now-invalid currency notes of Rs500 and Rs1,000.

For public convenience, banks will remain open on coming Saturday and Sunday, economic affairs secretary Shaktikanta Das tweeted.

As per the normal schedule, the coming Saturday being the second would have been a holiday, but keeping in view the expected rush at the branches, it was decided otherwise.

There are about 149 scheduled commercial banks, including 56 regional rural banks, with branch network of about 130,000 across the country.

Besides, the co-operative banks have also been asked to take deposit and exchange the old bills with the new one.

It is, however, not clear whether post offices would be open or not on the weekend. There are about 1.25 lakh post offices across the country.

At the same time, the government and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) are yet to take a call on keeping banks open on 14 November, which is a holiday.

“In order to meet the anticipated heavy demand from members of the public to conduct their banking transactions, it has been decided that banks shall remain open for public transactions on Saturday,12 November, and Sunday, 13 November, 2016,” RBI said in a statement.

In a surprise move, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday night announced demonetisation of Rs1,000 and Rs500 notes with effect from Wednesday to fight the menace of black money, fake currency, corruption and terror financing.

Banks are advised to keep all their branches open on 12 and 13 November 2016, as regular working days for transacting all business, it said.

RBI also asked banks to give due publicity to the availability of banking services on these days. PTI

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