Govt Orders All States To Vaccinate 13.5 Lakh Bank Employees On An Urgent Basis
With the start of the third phase of vaccination which begins from May 1, the finance ministry has once again asked state governments to treat bankers on a priority basis for COVID-19 vaccination.
Vaccination For Bankers
Citing the pandemic surging to record highs and fatalities rising with each passing day, the government decided to open COVID vaccination for all adults above the age of 18 years starting May 1 recently.
The center had directed the vaccine makers to reserve 50 percent doses for the Centre. While the remaining will be offered for states and the open market.
In the same regards, the Department of Financial Services had written a letter addressed to chief secretaries of states.
The letter said the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs on Management of COVID-19 pandemic and related issues, in its 229th report, appreciated the efforts and pain taken by the banking sector for providing uninterrupted service during the COVID-19 outbreak and consequent lockdown.
The report mentioned that the Committee placed on record the good work done by them and has also recognized them as COVID-19 warriors.
Prioritizing Staffs From Financial Institutions
Moving ahead, the letter mentioned that all the officers/staff of banks, insurance companies and other service providers who have not been vaccinated so far are anxious to get themselves vaccinated at the earliest.
Further saying that “In the light of the recent Government’s decision to open up vaccination to all persons above the age of 18 years from 1st May 2021… kindly consider putting in place a special dispensation in your State/UT, to enable the aforementioned employees/ staff to avail of vaccination easily and on priority basis,”.
A Move To Boost Staff Morale
“This will go a long way in assuring them about their safety and will also boost their morale in continuing to provide their best services to customers,” the report added.
In this regard, the respective convenors of the State Level Bankers’ Committees (SLBCs) in each state will coordinate with respective chief secretaries, as informed by the ministry.
Prior to this, the Department of Financial Services requested the health and home ministries for issuing instructions for enabling COVID-19 vaccination of employees of banks and those involved in the banking activities, at the start of this month.
Last year, 600 deaths, out of the total strength of 13.5 lakh employees in the banking sector, due to COVID-19 were recorded, according to the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) data.
Apart from this, the letter also highlighted the important role of bankers during disbursal and withdrawal of benefits transferred under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana.