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Long bank holidays bad news for the economy

Four bank holidays on the trot for Holi, Good Friday, 4th Saturday and Sunday at the fag end of the current financial year is bad news for Indian economy when every minute of productivity counts in today’s tough international business competition. Banks would only open at 9 am on Monday, 29th March after they are shut at 5 pm on Wednesday, 24th March which is a banking holiday of over 100 hours which the Indian economy can ill afford.

The government should have framed banking laws and rules that are flexible and should have announced 1st and 3rd Saturday off for this month since religious holidays were coinciding with weekly offs. Banking is the lifeline of business and no banking transaction for so long a period means jeopardizing the financials of not just the business community but the entire nation as well. Lacs of crores of rupees are parked in bank accounts for which the banks pay interest to customers and keeping that money idle for four days at a stretch means a loss of hundreds of crores to the banking sector which is already bleeding on account of NPA’s and bad loans given to people like Vijay Mallya and their tribe. We are a nation that celebrates, mourns or even protest with a holiday. We must have limited number of holidays if we are to progress from a developing economy to an developed one. Yes, India is a multilingual society with many religious holidays but people should cooperate and compensatory optional holidays can take care of religious sentiments and celebrations.

 

S.N. Kabra

(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)

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