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The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) recently issued directives aimed at ensuring the smooth handling of government transactions for the financial year 2023-24. These measures, outlined in circular RBI/2023-24/138, are crucial for agency banks in managing the closure of government accounts for the year.

Detailed Analysis:

1. Over-the-Counter Transactions: Agency banks are required to keep their designated branches open for over-the-counter transactions related to government transactions until the normal working hours on March 30 and March 31, 2024. This ensures accessibility and facilitates timely processing of transactions.

2. Electronic Fund Transfers: Transactions through National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) and Real-Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) System will be extended until 2400 hours on March 31, 2024. This extension accommodates last-minute transactions, providing flexibility to stakeholders.

3. Special Clearing for Government Cheques: Special clearing sessions will be conducted for government cheques on both March 30 and March 31, 2024. Agency banks are advised to present all cheques related to government accounts during these sessions, with specific timings to be communicated later.

4. Reporting to RBI: The reporting window for Central and State Government transactions to RBI, including the uploading of GST/TIN 2.0/ICEGATE/e-receipts luggage files, will remain open until 1200 hours noon on April 1, 2024. This extension allows banks to ensure accurate and timely reporting of transactions.

5. Publicity and Awareness: Agency banks are instructed to give adequate publicity to these special arrangements. Effective communication is essential to ensure that stakeholders are aware of the procedures and deadlines set forth by the RBI.

Conclusion: The RBI’s special measures for government transactions in the financial year 2023-24 aim to streamline processes and facilitate the timely closure of accounts. By extending transaction hours, conducting special clearings, and providing reporting extensions, the RBI ensures that agency banks can effectively manage government transactions within the stipulated timeframe. Adherence to these directives is crucial for maintaining operational efficiency and financial integrity.

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Reserve Bank of India

RBI/2023-24/138
CO.DGBA.GBD.No.S1252/42-01-029/2023-2024

March 22, 2024

All Agency Banks

Madam/Dear Sir,

Annual Closing of Government Accounts – Transactions of Central / State Governments – Special Measures for the Current Financial Year (2023-24)

All Government transactions done by agency banks for the Financial Year 2023-24 must be accounted for within the same financial year. Accordingly, the following arrangements are put in place to report and account for Government transactions for March 31, 2024.

2. All Agency banks should keep their designated branches open for over the counter transactions related to government transactions upto the normal working hours on March 30 and March 31, 2024.

3. Transactions through National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT) and Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) System will continue upto 2400 hours as hitherto on March 31, 2024.

4. Special clearing will be conducted for Government cheques both on March 30 & 31, 2024. Agency Banks are hereby advised that all cheques related to Government accounts may be presented on such clearing. The timing for presentation and return clearing of instruments for these special clearing sessions for government cheques will be intimated in due course.

5. Regarding reporting of Central and State Government transactions to RBI, including uploading of GST/ TIN 2.0/ ICEGATE/ e-receipts luggage files, the reporting window of March 31, 2024 will be kept open till 1200 hours noon on April 1, 2024.

6. Agency banks may take note and give adequate publicity to the special arrangements made as above.

Yours faithfully

(Indranil Chakraborty)
Chief General Manager

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