Government urged to ensure vaccination of bank employees on priority
AIBOC general secretary Soumya Dutta has submitted an appeal letter to the Health and Family Welfare Ministry to consider them as COVID-19 frontline warriors and make special arrangement to have them vaccinated on priority..
The All India Bank Officers' Confederation (AIBOC) appealed to the Central government and all the state governments to make a special arrangement for carrying out a COVID-19 vaccination programme for all the bank employees, considering them as COVID-19 frontline warriors.
In this regard, AIBOC general secretary Soumya Dutta on Wednesday submitted an appeal letter to the Health and Family Welfare Ministry. A copy of the communiqué has also been sent to the chief secretaries of all states and Union territories.
The letter mentioned about the communiqué issued by the department of Financial Services addressed to the chief secretaries of all states and union territories along with MDs and CEOs of all SCBs and IBA, advising to consider putting in place a special dispensation to enable the officers and staff of banks and other service providers to avail vaccination easily and on a priority basis.
The communiqué was consequent to the recognition given to bankers by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs in its 229th report, it stated.
However, no perceptible initiative has been taken till date by any state government or the union government except Arunachal Pradesh for arranging vaccination to the bank employees, workers and their families on priority basis, the letter stated.
The entire banking fraternity is rendering yeoman service to the nation during the pandemic, it stated. To keep the wheels of the economy moving, it mentioned that as per information available, nearly 1500 bankers have succumbed to the virus.
It stated, “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 in this pandemic. Had they been vaccinated in time along with other FLWs, a number of precious lives could have been saved. This undue procrastination has caused deep angst and resentment across the nation among bankers.”
While all state governments and Union territories arranged for vaccination for frontline workers, particularly for healthcare workers and police departments, it is unfortunate that the bank employees and officials continue to be ignored, the letter stated.
The letter requested the Ministry to take up the issue with appropriate authority of state government and union territories for procuring sufficient quantity of vaccine for the bank employees and officials, their family members and all service providers including casual and contractual workers, business correspondents, workers in cash logistic companies and cash-in-transit companies connected with banks, ATM maintenance personnel, banking correspondents, security guards on a priority basis.