Covid-19: RBI asks staff to work from home

MUMBAI: As the coronavirus infection spreads faster and deeper into the country, the Reserve Bank has allowed majority of its staff across its centres to work from home while ensuring unhindered business continuity.
According to the data released by Union health ministry, the total number of coronavirus cases rose to 166 till date with four deaths and Maharashtra is the worst affected among all the states with 45 reported cases.
The total strength of the central bank is close to 14,000, of which around 4,000 are based in Mumbai.
The headquarters alone has around 2,000 people working from the two Mint Road offices, while others are spread across the CBD Belapur Tech Centre, BKC and Mumbai Central offices etc. The RBI has advised central office departments and regional offices to identify areas where people can manage work by being at home and those where the staff has to be present in office.
“In view of changing contours of the threat posed to the RBI staff by Covid-19, the RBI has re-oriented its work processes, given the need to maintain social distancing while ensuring business continuity,” a person familiar with the matter said.
Some of the departments where the RBI staff will have to present include currency counters, where notes are being exchanged, RTGS department and the government transactions. All those staff working from home is being advised to be prepared to come to office in case of emergency, the person said.
However, governor Shaktikanta Das, all the four deputy governors, the executive directors and their immediate reporting staff as also those in the communications department are reporting to work at the headquarters.
“The move to allow most of the staff work from home is in line with the state government and the BMC’s directives to prevent community contagion. Therefore, the governor, who is very sensitive to the well-being of the staff allowed all non-essential staff to work from home provided they are ready to come to the office any time on call,” RBI spokesperson Yogesh Dayal told PTI.
Meanwhile, the All-India Reserve Bank Employees Association has assured full cooperation in dealing with the situation.
“We hope this emergency situation will be of a short duration and the country can successfully come out of the scourge,” the association said in a letter addressed to it members.

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