• Demonetisation: Digital payments more than double at OMCs’ fuel outlets

    Before demonetisation, few retail outlets in the country had digital payment options
    Digital transactions at fuel outlets have more than doubled to Rs 4.80 billion daily from Rs 1.50 billion in the pre-demonitisation days. On a daily basis, the sale of petrol, diesel and compressed natural gas comes to around Rs 18 billion. “This means, of the Rs 540 billion business that we are doing on a monthly basis, about 26-28 per cent, or around Rs 144 billion, is through cashless transactions,” said an official source. Before demonetisation, only a couple of thousands of retail outlets in the country had digital payment options which has now increased to 37,828 fuel outlets.

    After demonetisation on December 8, finance minister Arun Jaitley had announced a 0.75 per cent discount on cashless purchases of petrol and diesel. This amount is likely to be absorbed by oil marketing companies like Indian Oil Corporation Ltd, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd which may come to around Rs 24 billion on an annual basis. According to the Dharmendra Pradhan-led ministry of oil, share of digital transactions in company-owned company-operated outlets have zoomed to 55 per cent. India has 53,522 retail outlets owned by public sector undertakings, of that 33,169 got point of sale (PoS) machines as of January first week. “We have submitted documents to banks for another 20,000 PoS machines. By March this year, we expect to have 100 per cent digital outlets in the country,” the official added.

    From November 8 onwards, petroleum ministry has organised more than 33,000 customer awareness programmes, 40,000 standees have been placed to spread digital literacy and also launched promotion drives in all the languages. However, later the digitalisation drive had led to confusion on who will bear the brunt for a levy of 1 per cent charged on all credit card transactions, and between 0.25 per cent to 1 per cent on all debit card transactions.

    Following this, All India Petroleum Dealers Association and Consortium of India Petroleum Dealers (CIPD) announced that from 9 January it would not accept cards. However, with intervention from Pradhan, the associations later went back on the decision. On Thursday, Pradhan assured that neither the consumers nor the dealers will be bearing the cost for additional charges levied on card transactions at petrol pump outlets. Boomer Esiason Authentic Jersey

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