OWING to the spread of Covid-19 in Pakistan since March, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) had decided to reduce the office timings of commercial banks and National Savings Centres (NSCs) by two hours after Ramazan.
These days NSCs open at 10.00am which results in heavy rush at the centres. Because of endemic situation, the public is made to stand out in the scorching heat and people are called inside one by one.
I really wonder about the logic of reducing the working hours and starting late during business hours. To add to this problem, they have two and a half days’ off (Friday half day and Saturday/Sunday off).
I recently went to my NSC at 9.30am hoping it would open at 9.00am and there would not be much rush. I was given a token (number 34). When I inquired from 33 investors waiting there they told me that they had reached at the centre at 8.00am.
I do not think coronavirus disappears after 10.00am and reappears again early evening. The correct logic would be to work extended hours to avoid a large gathering of people. The more people gather, the higher the risk of getting infected with the virus.
The same position is with banks; you find people waiting in queue outside the bank. The banks and NSCs have put up small canopy for the people which is of no help when there is too much crowd.
Hopefully, the SBP and authorities concerned will take notice of the situation by visiting banks and NSCs to see for themselves the inconvenience public faces.
Akber D. Vazir
Published in Dawn, July 2nd, 2020