Petrol pumps have threatened to stop accepting plastic money (credit card and debit cards) from January 8 midnight, as banks will be levying 1 per cent transaction fee on card payments at petrol pumps.
The decision is ought to give customers a difficult time as the country is already facing cash crunch.
The move by petrol pump owners will also impact the government’s big push towards going cashless. Recently, the government announced a 0.75 per cent cashback offer on purchase of petrol using plastic money.
All India Petroleum Dealers Association president Ajay Bansal in a statement said HDFC, Axis and ICICI Banks have given a notification stating that they will be levying 1 per cent charge at petrol pumps, and it will wipe off the dealer margin.
The point-of-sale (POS) machines belonging to the banks that have introduced this scheme will not be operational.
According to Ravi Shinde, president of Mumbai Petrol Dealers Association, most of the petrol pumps are using HDFC and ICICI Bank’s swipe machines at 52,000 petrol pumps out of the 53,842 public sector fuel retail outlets across the country.
There are 56,190 petrol pumps in the country, including those run by private oil companies.
The ministry officials said they were caught by surprise on this move and have asked them to put off the levy till a system of compensating the petrol pump dealers is discussed by all stakeholders. They said “to be fair to dealers,” as the transaction fee cannot be paid by consumers or dealers.