States, UTs not giving priority to bankers to get vaccinated, says AIBOC

The All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC) has requested the Union Ministry of Health Services & Family Welfare (MoHFW) to suitably intervene so that bank employees and other service providers can avail of Covid-19 vaccination easily and on priority basis.

The Association said despite the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs recognising bankers as frontline Covid-19 warriors, till date no perceptible initiative has been taken by any State Government/Union Territory (UT), save and except Arunachal Pradesh, for arranging vaccination to the bank employees/workers and their families on priority basis.

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‘Undue procrastination’

Emphasising that bankers are rendering yeoman service to the nation during the pandemic to keep the wheels of the economy moving, Soumya Datta, General Secretary, AIBOC, said: “As per information available, nearly 1,500 bankers have succumbed to the virus. The toll has been heavy in the resurgent second wave which has wreaked havoc. It is extremely unfortunate that several young employees and officers below the age of 45 have succumbed to this pandemic.”

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Datta observed that had these bankers been vaccinated in time along with other frontline workers, number of precious lives could have been saved.

“This undue procrastination has caused deep angst and resentment across the nation amongst bankers. While all State Governments and UTs arranged for vaccination for the frontline workers particularly for healthcare workers and police department, the bank employees and officials continue to be ignored,” he said.

In a letter to Rajesh Bhushan, Secretary, MoHFW, Datta requested him take up the issues with appropriate authorities in States and UTs for procuring sufficient quantity of vaccine for Bankers, their family members and all service providers, including casual/ contractual workers, business correspondents, workers in cash logistic companies and cash-in-transit companies connected with banks, ATM maintenance personnel, banking correspondents, and security guards on priority basis.

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