'Petrol pumps to accept card payment till Friday'
The All India Petroleum Dealers Association's decided to revise its earlier announcement after consulting with the Petroleum Ministry, as banks also deferred charging transaction fee up to one per cent on card payments.
On Sunday, the association had announced that they would not accept payments through credit and debit cards from Monday in protest against the additional charge levied on such transactions.
"The AIPDA on Sunday decided to stop accepting payment through credit and debit cards till the decision to levy these additional charges are reversed.
"Late on Sunday, banks communicated to us they will not levy the transaction fee on card payments till January 13. Accordingly, we have decided to continue accepting payments through cards till Friday," AIPDA's West Bengal unit's General Secretary Saradindu Pal told IANS.
West Bengal Petroleum Dealers' Association (a unit of AIPDA) President Tushar Kanti Sen said: "We took the decision very late on Sunday night because some banks communicated that they would not levy transaction fee till January 13 but some did not.
"We kept a close watch. Eventually, the Ministry requested us to defer the decision till January 13."
In a letter to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, AIPDA President Ajay Bansal wrote that the HDFC and other banks would start charging one per cent on all credit card transactions, and between 0.25 and 1 per cent on all debit card transactions from Monday.
"The same will be debited to petroleum dealers' account and net transaction value will be credited to our account... This will lead to financial losses for the dealers," Bansal wrote.
However, he had added, if any bank is not charging additional MDR and corresponds the same to the association, the petrol pumps having Point of Sale (POS) devices of those banks would keep accepting cards.
"If banks start levying fees, it will cause squeezing of dealers' margin," Pal said.
AIPDA's decision for not accepting payments through cards came at a time when the Centre had directed state-run oil companies to offer a 0.75 per cent discount on the price of petrol and diesel to consumers paying by cards or mobile wallets to encourage people towards digital payments.
"This discount amount was supposed to be reimbursed to the dealers, but is not being executed properly," Pal said. He said dealers have been working on a low margin and demanded raising the dealers' commission to five per cent from the existing rate of three per cent taking petrol and diesel together.