March 26: The government has decided to open the banking sector which remains paralyzed due to the nationwide lockdown imposed since Tuesday.
The high-level committee to prevent coronavirus on Wednesday (March 25) decided to open the banking sector as it falls under the essential services.
As per the decision taken by the committee headed by Deputy Prime Minister Ishwar Pokharel, the banking service will be resumed in coordination between the Home Ministry and the Finance Ministry.
Some banks have been providing limited services through selected branches while most of the branches remained shut across the country ever since the lockdown was imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Outside the Kathmandu valley, the district administration offices allowed BFIs to operate only one branch each.
President of Nepal Bankers’ Association Bhuvan Dahal said that the provincial governments did not allow them to operate in full strength outside the capital city.
According to Dahal, commercial banks couldn’t provide any service in cities like Nepalgunj, Bhairahawa, Janakpur due to the lockdown.
However, Dahal said that the banks have ensured that the ATMs do not run out of cash.
Meanwhile, the banks are preparing to start cashless transaction through electronic means in an effort to stop the possible spread of coronavirus from paper money. This move would also significantly reduce the number of customers in BFIs as well as the threat posed by the deadly virus, that has caused havoc across the globe.