In a circular dated March 24, the RBI announced that it is mandatory for banks to render services on all days starting March 25, up to April 1. This was also applicable to RTGS and NEFT transactions. Contrary to its previous announcement that was circulated with regards to banks being operational on April 1, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in a revised circular stated that all payment systems will be closed on the aforementioned date.
“The Government of India has advised that all Pay and Account Offices will remain open on all days up to April 1, 2017 to facilitate government receipt and payment functions. Accordingly, all Agency Banks are advised to keep all their branches dealing with government business open on all days in the current financial year and on April 1, 2017 (including Saturday, Sunday and all holidays),” the notice read.
With regards to the RBI’s earlier instruction on special clearing operations scheduled for March 30 and 31, 2017, the notice states that the schedule will remain the same.
A day before, in a letter to the Indian Banks’ Association, unions AIBEA and AIBOA said the RBI issued the directive “very late, causing huge resentment” among bank employees. “The RBI is fully aware that March 25 and 26 would be weekly holidays for the banks. But very late on 24th evening, the RBI had flashed their instructions through the press and electronic media,” said a joint letter written by them. Banks remain closed on April 1 every year for their annual closing of accounts.