Govt may nudge bankers to delay decision on transaction charges

Govt may nudge bankers to delay decision on transaction charges

The government may nudge bankers to wait for sometime before imposing a fee on cash transactions beyond a certain limit. Some private sector banks have informed their customers that they will impose transaction charges after four or five transactions.

“We will talk to banking management. I do not think any public sector bank has resorted to the move so far,” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said.Though the government has not issued any directive to public sector banks, government-owned banks, too, will resort to the practice from April 1.

The country’s largest public sector lender, State Bank of India, said that it has already levied Rs 50 beyond three transactions, and will renew the same from April 1. The Oriental Bank of Commerce, however, resorted to the practice from March 1.

Withdrawals from ATMs are also likely to be charged in the same way as it existed before demonetisation. While SBI allows 10 free transactions from its ATMs, others give concession up to four or five.

It is not yet clear whether the government will ask bankers to completely withdraw the charges or increase the limit of transactions beyond which the levy should apply, but officials said Jaitley may ask them to give people more time to get used to digital transactions.

During an election rally in Varanasi on Thursday, Jaitley said that banks have been asked to procure more point of sale machines and make it available to traders in order to facilitate digital payments.

The Confederation of All India Traders has called the proposed levy a type of “financial terrorism”, adding that putting people through hardship was not the way to promote digital transactions.

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