Update: Petrol pumps defer decision on refusing card payments until January 13
Fuel pump owners had decided to accept only cash to protest against banks’ levying a 1% fee on credit and debit card transactions.
Late on Sunday night, petrol pump owners announced that they would make a decision on whether to accept debit and credit cards on January 13, PTI reported.
Petrol bunk owners across the country had said earlier in the day that they would not accept card payments from Sunday midnight in protest against the move initiated by several banks to levy a 1% fee on card payments at fuel pumps, The Hindu reported. President of the All India Petroleum Dealers Association, Ajay Bansal, said that while they supported the Centre’s drive to transition into a cashless economy, it should not be at their cost.
“We are operating on a very thin margin,” Bansal said. “We cannot afford this deduction.” He added that the association had informed the ministries of finance and petroleum of their decision, and that they would accept payments through Paytm and BHIM apps.
However, late on Sunday, his association deferred its decision. “We have received official communication from oil marketing companies that the transaction fee charges have been deferred till January 13, 2017,” Bansal said. “AIPDA also has decided to defer the agitation till January 13.”
Axis Bank and HDFC Bank had announced that they would levy a 1% transaction fee on payments made at fuel bunks using debit or credit cards. The move was not well received by petrol bunk owners, who said they are still reeling from the measures introduced during the demonetisation drive launched on November 8, and that this fee would slash their profits further.
Government officials in Delhi said they were unaware of the fee being imposed, and that they had directed banks to suspend the charges till a system to compensate the dealers was put in place, The Times of India reported.
Corrections and clarifications: A previous version of this story had included ICICI among the banks that will charge a transaction fee. A spokesman for the bank clarified that it will not do so.