Customers making payments using cards at petrol pumps will not have to bear the transaction charges, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Dharmendra Pradhan clarified on Thursday. He said the oil marketing companies and banks will be charged the Merchant Discount Rate.

The minister said he had held a meeting on Thursday on the issue with the Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and senior members of public sector oil manufacturing companies and major banks. It was unanimously decided at the meeting that consumers and petrol pump owners will not bear the cost of MDR on debit card transactions.

“Retail outlets (petrol pumps) will also be kept out of its purview. Now, it is between banks and OMCs how they share it,” Pradhan said, according to PTI. The oil minister tweeted that a proper mechanism will be put in place by January 16 and the rate will be decided after negotiations between OMCs and banks. The MDR charges will be levied as per Reserve Bank India guidelines, he said.

On January 8, petrol pump owners across the country had said they would not accept card payments in protest against banks’ decision to levy a 1% fee on such payments at fuel pumps. The strike was later deferred to January 13.

MDR is a charge levied on merchants by banks for accepting payments through credit and debit cards. This charge was earlier passed on to the customers. However, in a bid to promote digital transactions after demonetisation was announced on November 8, the government waived the charge till December 30.