The government has asked banks to launch special camps to open bank accounts for workers not having accounts. These camps are likely to start from Monday to facilitate account opening for workers of both organised and unorganised sectors. “The location of these camps and other relevant modalities may be decided at the district-level by a committee comprising of collector cum district magistrate, lead district manager of the bank, labour officers of the central and the state government,” according to a communication from Union labour secretary M Sathiyavathy to the concerned departments on Friday.
The move comes in the backdrop of the Centre’s decision to withdraw old currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 from circulation. The government has also stopped the facility of exchanging these old notes at the bank counters since Friday. These policy changes have adversely affected, especially those who do not have a bank account.
With staff at most banks tied with with work related to replacement of old currency, other facilities such as opening of new bank accounts and clearance of cheques have slowed down since November 8.
The labour and finance ministries have discussed the contours of the special camp scheme with the state governments representatives and banks. While announcing its decision to stop over the counter exchange of old currency, the finance ministry had said that people not having account should be encouraged to open bank accounts.
The government has asked lead district managers of the banks to communicate to branches where these camps are to be organised. “This campaign will continue in the coming days through concerned bank branches, their business correspondents and the camps as required,” the labour secretary said.