The RBI and the country's leading banks are mulling to close most bank branches across the country to prevent the spread of the highly deadly Covid 19 infection, four sources privy to the development told Reuters.
In the 21-day lockdown that was announced to fight coronavirus, banks have been exempted as they are classified as essential services. And in a country where close to 70% citizens rely solely on cash, as per one of the sources, banks probably will function on alternate days and redeploy employees for allowing only disbursal of welfare cash to the poor.
According to sources, as per the plan there can be just a single bank functional every five kilometers in major cities in the country.
"The general guideline is that branch operation should largely be for villages just to take care of those people who are not familiar with digital transactions," a senior banker with a state-run bank told Reuters.
"Informally, banks are talking to each other to cope up with a situation where there will be some rush for cash withdrawal because it is expected the government will provide cash for the poor directly into their accounts."