SBP instructs banks to remain open on Saturday

To cater banking needs of the public at large, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Tuesday has directed banks / MFBs to remain open on Saturday due to the Eid holidays in country from May 10 to 15.

The statement issued by the central bank said that all banks / MFBs will be open on Saturday, May 8, 2021, from 9 am to 2 pm without any break.

It may be recalled that on April 13, the SBP had announced the working hours of the bank for the month of Ramadan from 10 am to 4 pm, which included a prayer break from 2 pm to 2:15 pm.

However, on April 29, to stop the spread of COVID-19 and on the instructions of NCOC, the Central Bank decided to change the working hours of banks from Monday to Thursday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

On Friday, bank hours were open to the public from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., while office hours were from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

It may be recalled that a day earlier, the Eid holidays were announced across the country from May 10 to May 15 in a notification issued by the Interior Ministry on the recommendation of the National Command Operations Center and with the permission of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Earlier last week, the NCOC announced an Eid-ul-Fitr holiday from May 10 to 15 and a strategy to keep people at home and restrict movement nationally.

The NCOC said that grocery stores, medical stores, medical facilities/vaccination centres, fruit and vegetable and meat shops, bakeries, petrol pumps, buying or ordering food, utility services (gas, electric phones) and all business centres except media etc. will be closed.

The statement said that the sale of items including henna, jewellery and clothes would also be banned.

Regarding tourism, it was informed that there will be a complete ban on tourism for locals and non-locals and resorts, entertainment venues, public parks, shopping malls, hotels and restaurants will be closed.

The NCOC had said that 50 per cent of passengers would be allowed in private vehicles, taxis, rickshaws and inter-provincial, inter-city and inter-city transport would be banned.

Additional trains will run until May 7 to dispense passenger volume ahead of Eid, after which 70 per cent capacity will be restored with SOPs.

In addition, the media was directed to broadcast special programs, movies, dramas and entertainment shows during the Eid holidays so that the people could stay at home while ensuring uninterrupted power supply during the Eid holidays.

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