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Finance ministry requests health, home ministries for vaccination of bank employees on priority basis

The union finance ministry has requested the health and home ministries for issuing instructions for enabling COVID-19 vaccination of employees of banks and National Payments Corporation of India on priority basis.

This will go a long way in assuring bank employees about safety of themselves and their families and also boost their morale in continuing to provide their services to customers even in these difficult times when the fresh wave has swept many states, the finance ministry in its recent communication said.

Out of total strength of 13.5 lakh employees in the banking sector, about 600 unfortunate deaths due to COVID-19 were recorded, as per the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) data.

In percentage terms, 0.04 per cent of total strength lost their lives.

The communication to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the Ministry of Home Affairs emphasised important role of bankers during disbursal and withdrawal of benefits transferred under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana.

Similarly, it said, the reliance on digital mode of payments increased and employees of National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) played critical role in ensuring unhindered services.

The IBA in the last month had written a letter addressed to Secretary Health and Family Welfare for inclusion of bank employees for vaccination on priority basis given their role their important role in running the economy.

The association had requested the ministry for free vaccination on priority basis.

With the new variant of mutant virus, the risk has increased manifold for those who are not vaccinated, the IBA had said.

Quoting observation of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs, IBA had said the committee appreciated the efforts and pain taken by the banking sector for providing uninterrupted and seamless banking facility during the COVID-19 outbreak.

While recognising good work done by the banking sector, the committee emphasised that they be declared COVID-19 warriors, IBA letter to Health Secretary said.

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