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March 2024 bank holidays: Certain bank branches will be open to cater to government transactions for the fiscal year 2023–2024 on Sunday, March 31. This decision comes from the Government of India, which has asked all bank branches handling government receipts and payments to remain operational on that day. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) communicated this directive in a notification issued on March 21, 2024.

According to ET, it’s important to note that not all bank branches will be open for regular transactions. Only selected branches designated as Agency Banks will be operational on Sunday, March 31.

These Agency Banks are advised to keep all branches handling government transactions open on Sunday, March 31, as per the RBI notification dated March 20, 2024. Banks are also instructed to publicise the availability of banking services on this day.

ALSO READ | March 2024 bank holidays: Banks closed for 14 days nationwide; check state-wise holiday list here

What are Agency Banks?

According to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) website, the RBI conducts general banking operations for governments through its own offices and designated commercial banks, both public and private, acting as its agents. Section 45 of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934, allows for the appointment of scheduled commercial banks as agents across India, considering factors like public interest, banking convenience, development, and other relevant factors. The RBI manages the primary accounts of both Central and State Governments at its Central Accounts Section in Nagpur. It has established a comprehensive system for revenue collection and government payments nationwide. This system involves the Government Banking Divisions of the RBI and branches of Agency Banks appointed under Section 45 of the RBI Act.

Currently, all public sector banks and certain private sector banks serve as agents for the RBI. Only specified branches of these Agency Banks are authorised to conduct government banking operations.

Full list of Agency Banks

As per the data released on December 7, 2023, by RBI website, there are a total of 33 Agency Banks. These Agency Banks are authorised to handle government operations related to receipts and payments.

RBI’s Agency Banks List as of May 30, 2023

Sl No. Name of Agency Bank
Scheduled Public Sector banks (post amalgamation)
1 Bank of Baroda
2 Bank of India
3 Bank of Maharashtra
4 Canara Bank
5 Central Bank of India
6 Indian Bank
7 Indian Overseas Bank
8 Punjab and Sind Bank
9 Punjab National Bank
10 State Bank of India
11 UCO Bank
12 Union Bank of India
Scheduled Private Sector Banks
13 Axis Bank Ltd.
14 City Union Bank Ltd.
15 DCB Bank Ltd
16 Federal Bank Ltd.
17 HDFC Bank Ltd.
18 ICICI Bank Ltd.
19 IDBI Bank Ltd.
20 IDFC FIRST Bank Ltd
21 IndusInd Bank Ltd
22 Jammu and Kashmir Bank Ltd. *
23 Karnataka Bank Ltd.
24 Karur Vysya Bank Ltd.
25 Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd.
26 RBL Bank Ltd
27 South Indian Bank Ltd.
28 Yes Bank Ltd.
29 Dhanlaxmi Bank Ltd.
30 Bandhan Bank Ltd.
31 CSB Bank Ltd.
32 Tamilnad Mercantile Bank Ltd.
Foreign Banks
33 DBS Bank India Limited#
*Approved for limited agency business.
# Scheduled foreign bank issued license by RBI for carrying on banking business in India through Wholly Owned Subsidiary (WOS) mode.

Source: RBI website
According to the RBI bank holiday page, banks will be closed in all states on April 1 to allow them to close their yearly accounts. The RBI annually publishes a list of bank holidays, which includes leaves categorised under three sections: ‘Holiday under Negotiable Instruments Act,’ ‘Holiday under Negotiable Instruments Act and Real Time Gross Settlement Holiday,’ and ‘Banks’ Closing of Accounts.’

Tax department’s working arrangements

Due to pending tax-related tasks, the Income Tax department has revoked the long weekend for its employees. In an order dated March 31, 2024, the department declared that all Income Tax Offices across India will remain operational on March 29th, 30th, and 31st, 2024, to facilitate the completion of pending departmental work.

  • Published On Mar 23, 2024 at 08:07 AM IST

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