The officials of state-run Indian Oil Corporation Ltd, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd had a meeting with SBI chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya on Thursday in this regard and it has been decided that an amount up to Rs 2,000 per day per person in cash can be dispensed against swiping of debit card from select petrol pumps where POS machines of SBI are already available, the ministry of petroleum and natural gas said in a statement today. POS machines are the machines which are generally used for debit or credit card transactions. It has been decided to start this facility at around 2500 petrol pumps spread across the country including rural areas, where SBI POS machines are provided.
In a move that may give some relief to the currency crunch of common man, oil marketing companies in tie up with State Bank of India (SBI) has decided that by swiping debit cards at 2,500 fuel retail outlets across the country, people will be able to withdraw Rs 2,000 per day from November 24.
The oil industry is also in further discussions with SBI and other banks to extend this facility to over 20,000 petrol pumps gradually.
“It may be noted that petrol pumps have been accepting currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denominations and will continue to do so till November 24, 2016. There is no shortage of petroleum products at the petrol pumps and consumers can purchase them as per their needs,” the statement added. It also urged the consumers to go for cashless transactions – including credit/debit cards, mobile wallets, loyalty programmes etc. for purchase of fuel.
This comes after the Dharmendra Pradhan-led ministry of petroleum and natural gas approached the finance ministry with a proposal asking it to distribute smaller denomenation notes to retail outlets or to start cash dispensation centers at petrol pumps. After the announcement by Prime Minister Narendra Modi that Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 currency notes would be demonetised, sales at fuel retail outlets have increased by 15-40%, as the government had allowed these outlets to accept the old currency notes. Railways ministry, too, had approached the Reserve Bank of India to supply lower denomination notes to the national carrier with immediate effect.
India has about 56,190 fuel retail outlets, out of which state-run Indian Oil Corporation Ltd, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd have about 52,604 outlets. On a monthly basis, each of these outlets sell 170 kilolitre of fuel.
According to All India Petroleum Dealers’ Association, in many places across the country petrol pump staff is being assaulted and man-handled for smaller denomination notes. In 2015-16, the overall fuel demand zoomed to 183.5 million metric tonne from 165.5 million tonne, compared to the previous financial year. While diesel consumption increased by 7.5% to 74.6 million tonne, gasoline usage rose 14.5% to 21.8 million tonne.
(This news was first published by Business Standard and has been published unedited by Red Newswire staff )