Money & Banking

Reserve Bank amends Unlock 4.0 circular for staff

Vinson Kurian Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on September 07, 2020

Governor cites BusinessLine report

The Reserve Bank of India late on Sunday withdrew an internal circular dated September 4 with respect to staff attendance that had appeared to contradict the spirit and intent of a Home Ministry guidance on Unlcok 4.0. The Central Bank went on to issue an amended circular after BusinessLine flagged the anomaly in a report earlier the same day.

The amended circular invites the attention of the Regional Offices and the Central Office Departments to the ‘Standard Operating Procedures’ for dealing with Covid-19-positive cases in the RBI. “It is reiterated that all employees with Covid-like symptoms or who have come in contact with a Covid-positive person either in the office or their family etc. should self-isolate themselves for the period prescribed by local authorities/Bank.”

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Sources said Governor Shaktikanta Das had cited the BusinessLine report and expressed unhappiness that the impugned circular should have been released by the RBI. He directed the concerned department/officials to issue an amended order on Sunday itself. The original circular appearing in the internal Enterprise Knowledge Portal has since been withdrawn and replaced with the amended one.

Paragraph 7 of the MHA order issued on August 29 and titled ‘protection of vulnerable persons,’ had clearly advised that persons above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women and children below the age of 10 years may stay at home, except for essential and health purposes.

But the September 4 circular from the Human Resources Department of the Central Bank, while citing the MHA order, appeared to sound to the contrary by directing even employees with co-morbidities to attend office. They would have had to take leave if they were unable to come to office due to their condition.

Only pregnant lady staff have been allowed to work from home. The anomalous guidance to employees with co-morbidities had allegedly defeated the purpose of the MHA directive, sources had said. This had left employees worried about a potential health hazard to those with co-morbidities attending office, who are otherwise considered vulnerable to the Covid-19 virus.

Published on September 07, 2020

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