Are banks open for normal work this Sunday?

As the current financial year, 2023-24, ends on a Sunday (March 31, 2024), the Reserve Bank of India has asked agency banks dealing with government receipts and transactions to remain open on that day. This means that if an individual wants to make income tax or any other payments to the government, that can be done by visiting the agency bank’s branch this Sunday.

According to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) website, 12 public sector banks, 20 private sector banks and one foreign bank are designated as agency banks – which means they are designated banks to carry out certain government business. However, can an individual visit such bank branches to invest in tax-saving bank FDs or Public Provident Fund (PPF) accounts or to simply update their bank account passbook?

Also Read: List of agency banks as per RBI

ET Wealth online sent an email query to seven agency banks – DBS Bank, ICICI Bank, Bandhan Bank, State Bank of India (SBI), HDFC Bank, Punjab National Bank (PNB) and Bank of Baroda – asking if an individual can do normal banking transactions on Sunday, March 31, 2024.

Except Bandhan Bank, no other banks had responded when this article was being published. HDFC Bank said it did not want to comment.

According to Bandhan Bank, all branches of the bank are open on March 31, 2024. An individual can visit its branches to deposit income tax amount, submit challan or to make any payments to the government on Sunday. Further, the bank clarified that an individual can visit it’s branches to open a tax-saving fixed deposit, deposit money in a PPF account or do any other work related to their bank account.

Hence, if you are a Bandhan Bank account holder, you can still make last-minute tax-saving investments on Sunday, i.e., March 31, 2024. However, it is not certain if other agency bank customers can make last-minute tax-saving investments or do normal banking work on Sunday.

Also Read: Financial transactions that you can do in a bank on March 30, 31

What RBI said about keeping bank branches open on March 31, 2024

The RBI issued a notification on March 20, 2024, asking all branches of the agency banks to remain open to conduct government transactions. As per the notification, “The Government of India has made a request to keep all branches of the banks dealing with Government receipts and payments open for transactions on March 31, 2024 (Sunday) so as to account for all the Government transactions relating to receipts and payments in the FY 2023-24 itself. Accordingly, Agency Banks are advised to keep all their branches dealing with government business open on March 31, 2024 (Sunday).”

Further, the RBI, via a press release dated March 22, 2024, said, “With a view to providing greater convenience to taxpayers, it has been decided that RBI offices dealing with Government business and all designated branches of agency banks conducting government banking business will keep their counters open as per normal working hours on March 30, 2024 and March 31, 2024; electronic transactions can be done till the stipulated time on both the days. Transactions through National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) and Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) System will continue upto 2400 hours as hitherto on March 31, 2024. In order to facilitate Government receipts and payments, necessary arrangements have also been made to conduct special clearing operations across the country. Special clearing will be conducted for Government cheques both on March 30 & 31, 2024. Agency Banks are hereby advised that all cheques related to Government accounts may be presented on such clearing. The timing for presentation and return clearing of instruments for these special clearing sessions for government cheques will be intimated in due course.”

William Murphy

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