GUWAHATI: The Assam unit of the All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC) has opposed Assam’s state level bankers’ committee (SLBC) notification announcing normal functioning of the banks amidst the global outbreak of COVID-19.
AIBOC which comprises of around 10,000 members and operating over the seven states of North East Indi in a statement urged, “The Government should not lose sight of the plight of these unsung warriors of the economic ecosystem of our country who toils hard at every occasion to power our economy and build our nation. I request the Government to ponder over the issue with alacrity. The Banks, if they are to function for the full working hours and extend services without any restriction, it would surely become a hub of the spread of contamination as everyone is aware of the large gathering of people at the branches.”
Dilip Kumar Roychoudhury, secretary Assam unit of All India Bank Officers’ Confederation stated, “While the Prime Minister urging everyone to stay at home, the news of open Banks would act like an incentive for the citizens of the state to come out of their homes risking their own lives as well a lives of millions others. A large number of bankers are above 50 years and being a citizen of this country they deserve the same protection as any other person of this country does. Banks, as has been asked to operate for full working hours, these officers and staff who are above 50 years would have no option but to come to the branches to serve jeopardizing their own lives along with lives of many of their near and dear ones.”
He added, “In absence of any Public transportation facility during this period of lockdown many of our fellow bankers will face acute problem in commuting who does not have their own vehicle or unable to drive. Identification of persons with genuine banking needs and those who are in search of an excuse to roam around would be difficult in absence of any guidelines in this regard which in turn will make the entire process of lockdown a huge chaos. Allocation of passes to tackle such situation would be cumbersome and difficult to achieve.
Already the bank people are in a precarious condition, serving the society without adequate supply and availability of protective equipment, extension in transaction hours and restoration of all kinds of services will further aggravate the situation.
He said, “COVID-19 “mess” for the nation is truly a unique one. We have limited information about the likely path of the pandemic in the coming days and we understand that the Government has to take certain decisions in a context of radical uncertainty. Though the Indian bankers have never shied away from any challenge thrown at them by the Government, but the circumstances at present demands that the Government views the problems of the bankers through the lens of compassion and empathy since it is a medical emergency that the planet earth is going through.
Considering all such aspects into account, we urge upon the government to continue with the ongoing cluster system of Bank functioning as well as the restricted business hours with skeletal services, so as to go by the spirit behind the directives ofPrime Minister in terms of maintenance of social distancing and arrest spreading of the deadly virus in our quest to safeguard the human race from the clutch of extinction.”