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Coronavirus pandemic | Banks' special clearing operations for closure of govt a/cs to be carried out

Date: 31-03-2020
Subject: Coronavirus pandemic | Banks' special clearing operations for closure of govt a/cs to be carried out
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on March 30 said special clearing operations will be carried out by banks and other eligible financial entities on Tuesday for annual closing of government accounts and for the special measures in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Referring to special measures announced earlier on March 29, the RBI said taking into account the current unprecedented situation across the country to tackle the COVID-19 situation, various arrangements are put in place.

The RBI has divided time slot for transactions of central and state governments; and announced special measures for the current FY20.

Normal clearing timings as applicable to any working Tuesday shall be followed on March 31, 2020, the RBI said in a notification.

Further, to facilitate accounting of all the government transactions for the current financial year (2019-20) by March 31, 2020, it has been decided to conduct a special clearing exclusively for government cheques at all clearing houses across the country on March 31, 2020, RBI said.

With regard to CTS (cheque truncation system) grids in Chennai, Mumbai and New Delhi, presentation clearing will be held between 5 am and 5.30 pm, while return clearing will happen between 7 pm and 7.30 pm.

Those under Express Cheque Clearing System (ECCS) centres, the presentation clearing is to happen one hour after normal working hours keeping in view operational convenience at local centre and for return clearing, it will happen half an hour/one hour after presentation clearing keeping in view the operational convenience at local centre.

"It is mandatory for all banks to participate in the special clearing on March 31, 2020. All member banks of clearing houses are required to keep their inward clearing processing infrastructure open during special clearing hours and maintain sufficient balance in their clearing settlement account to meet settlement obligations arising out of the special clearing," RBI said.

It also asked the banks to be prepared to participate in RTGS (real-time gross settlement) on March 31, 2020.

All government transactions done by agency banks for the FY20 must be accounted for within the same financial year, it said.

Under the special clearing window, all agency banks are directed to keep their designated branches open for over-the-counter transactions related to government transactions up to the normal working hours on March 31.

"Transactions through National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) will continue up to 2400 hours as hitherto on March 31, 2020," it added.

Regarding reporting of central and state government transactions to the RBI, including uploading of GST/ e-receipts luggage files, the reporting window on March 31, 2020, will be extended and kept open till 1200 hours on April 1, 2020.

All the scheduled commercial banks, including regional rural banks; urban and state co-operative banks, district central co-operative banks, local area banks, payment banks and small finance banks, would be part of this special clearing session.


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