After Kerala, the West Bengal government has decided to let all bank branches remain shut in the state on all Saturdays and Sundays. Earlier, bank holidays on the weekends were limited to only on second and fourth Saturdays, all Sundays and public holidays.
" the Governor is pleased to declare that all Saturdays shall be public holidays under the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 in respect of all bank branches working in the State of West Bengal, in addition to the existing holidays on 2nd and 4th Saturdays," the finance (audit) department said in a notification on Monday.
"This will take immediate effect and will remain in force until further notification," it said.
The decision has been taken in view of an increasing number of bank employees getting infected by COVID-19. Over 2,000 employees of state-run and private banks of West Bengal have been affected by the virus, All India Bank Officers Confederation (AIBOC) state secretary Sanjay Das said.
Last week, the Kerala government had also issued a similar order, calling all bank branches to remain closed on Saturdays in the state.
Meanwhile, All India Bank Employees Association has once again raised its demand for a five-day working week, this time stating that reducing the number of working days would help bankers who are at high risk of contracting the coronavirus disease due to their exposure to the public.