Hyderabad: A list of bank holidays for the month of August is circulating on social media with the claim that all banks across the country will remain closed for 15 days in August 2021.
The claim is misleading.
According to the RBI website, eight holidays are listed excluding week offs. However, these holidays are not uniform across all states in the country. This is because specific states observe festivals on different dates. It should be noted that not a single regional office has all the listed eight holidays, some only have one or two holidays listed. Holiday dates differ region to region, for example Ahmedabad has only two holidays, Chandigarh has one holiday, and Chennai has two holidays from the list given by RBI. 13 August is listed as a holiday only in Imphal and 31 August 2021 is listed as a holiday only in Hyderabad.
Several netizens are misunderstanding the news reports by many media organizations that have reported on the 15-day holiday for banks in India. They clearly state that apart from the weekly offs, "banks will be closed in different states on account of different holidays" and that as "there are state-specific holidays for different occasions, banks will not be shut for all eight days for all states in August 2021." (Click here and here to view news reports)
The Reserve Bank of India has categorized holidays under three categories — Holiday under Negotiable Instruments Act; Holiday under Negotiable Instruments Act and Real-Time Gross Settlement Holiday; and Banks' Closing of Accounts. According to its calendar, apart from second and fourth Saturdays and Sundays, there are eight holidays in August. However, not all banks in all states will be shut on the same days as these are state-specific holidays.
A news report by DNA India specifically stated, "Bank holidays vary in various states across the country and not all holidays are observed by all the banking companies. Bank holidays also depend on the festivals which are observed in specific states."
A News18 report also said, "It is worth noting that the holidays, with the exception of the weekends, do not fall as a common leave for all banks simultaneously for the states."
Evidently, the claim that all banks across India will be shut for 15 days in August is misleading. Including the eight listed holidays and week offs, there are 15 holidays in August but not all are observed by all banks in India. Thus, the claim is misleading.