New Delhi: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Tuesday directed banks to keep their branches open on Sunday (March 31), the last day of the financial year, in order to deal with government business transactions. The RBI is yet to issue instructions on the carrying out of electronic transactions, including RTGS and NEFT on March 30 and March 31, 2019.

According to an RBI circular, “The Government of India has advised that all Pay and Account Offices will remain open on March 31, 2019 (Sunday) to facilitate government receipt and payment transactions. Accordingly, all Agency Banks are advised to keep all their branches dealing with government business open on March 31, 2019 (Sunday).”

In yet another notification, the RBI mentioned that the Government of India has desired that all government transactions done by agency banks for the financial year 2018-19 must be accounted for within the same financial year. Moreover, the government also made a request that certain special arrangements be made for this purpose as in previous years.

“Accordingly, all agency banks should keep the counters of their designated branches conducting government banking open for government transactions up to 8 pm on March 30, 2019, and up to 6 pm on March 31, 2019,” added the notification.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, the RBI slapped a penalty of Rs 2 crore on the Punjab National Bank (PNB) for non-compliance of regulatory directions with regard to SWIFT operations, said the state-run lender. SWIFT is a global messaging software used for transactions by financial entities. The massive Rs 14,000-crore fraud perpetrated by billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi at the PNB was a case of misuse of this messsaging software. In a regulatory filing, the PNB said the Reserve Bank, in a letter dated March 25, has informed the bank about the penalty.

(With agency inputs)