Banks to mobilize staff on rotational basis as govt tightens containment measures

Published On: August 10, 2020 08:23 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

NRB asks banks to make arrangement to allow employees to work from home

KATHMANDU, Aug 10: Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) has asked banks and financial institutions (BFIs) to make an arrangement to call their staffs at work on a rotational basis as the government tightens restrictions on gathering of people and reimposes containment measures in the wake of a spike in COVID-19 cases across the country.  

Issuing a notice on Sunday, NRB—the central bank of the country—told BFIs to divide staff in groups and call them at work on a rotational basis for the continuity of their services. The central bank’s notice urging BFIs to mobilize their employees on a rotational basis comes at a time when the number of COVID-19 cases is surging in recent weeks.   

The five-point notice of the central bank also includes a request to the BFIs to come up with a business continuity plan including a rotational system to mobilize their staff to continue their services by complying with health safety protocols issued by the government.

The central bank said that BFIs could also make arrangements allowing their employees to work from home due to special circumstances like lockdown, containment measures and odd-even number plate system imposed by the government in various parts of the country.

In its notice, the central bank has also asked BFIs to open their branches in provinces on rotational basis or alternative basis as per the decision made by their respective provincial government, local units or local administration.

The central bank has also urged BFIs to encourage and promote electronic-based transactions.

According to NRB officials, the notice is aimed at facilitating BFIs to come up with a business continuity plan amid rise in the risk of spread of coronavirus. The rotational system is expected to help BFIs continue their services even when there are restrictions and containment measures are put in place.

As COVID-19 cases continue to surge, the government has been imposing restrictions in various parts of the country including odd-even number plate rule in Kathmandu valley. Under the rule, only even number plate vehicles are allowed to operate on the even days of Nepali calendar and those with even number plates on even days.

Banking and financial service is listed as an essential service by the government.

Following a surge in the new COVID-19 cases in recent days, the COVID-19 Crisis Management Center (CCMC) has decided to recommend to the government not to immediately resume aviation services and long-distance public transport as announced earlier. The government on July 21 had decided to resume these services from August 17.

With 338 new cases of coronavirus recorded in the past 24 hours across the country, Nepal's COVID-19 tally has risen to 23,310 while 80 have lost their lives due to coronavirus. 

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