New Delhi, Nov 23 (PTI) Amid the ongoing political outcry over
demonetisation, the government on Wednesday announced more
steps to help farmers to meet their cash needs during the ongoing rabi
season and directed banks to waive debit card transaction charges to
encourage digital payment.
To ensure quick and unhindered flow of credit and cash to farmers
during the current rabi season to deal with ban of Rs 500/1,000 notes,
the government has allowed Nabard to disburse Rs 21,000 crore
through cooperative banks to farmers.
Listing various measures taken by the government to incentivise digital
transactions, Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das said the
Railways has already waived service charges on online booking of
tickets and telecom operators have agreed to make mobile banking
services in feature phones free of cost till December 31.
While government departments and PSUs have been asked to make
electronic payment to contractors and its employees, the road
transport ministry has asked automobile manufacturers to install
digital RFID tag on all new vehicles to enable cashless payment at toll
plazas and checkposts.
Similarly, the government has doubled the monthly transaction limit
through e-wallets to Rs 20,000.
“All these measures are meant to promote digital penetration. It will
also help farmers in the current rabi season to ensure a normal rabi
crop on the back of good monsoon,” he said.
Das said: “Public sector banks, some of the private banks and some of
the service providers that provide switching services have agreed to
waive the service charges on the use of debit cards up to December
As of now, Rupay debit cards have already waived the switching
charges. Other debit cards that operate through international card
network companies like Mastercard and Visa currently charge
“The MDR (merchant discount rate) charges on use of debit cards, the
charges being levied by banks and the switching charges will stand
completely waived. So, there will be no charge on use of debit cards,”
he said, adding that banks will make announcement in this regard
With regard to the farm sector, Das said Nabard will disburse Rs
21,000 crore to District Central Cooperative Banks (DCCBs) for onward
lending to farmers through Primary Agricultural Cooperative Societies.
Over 40 per cent small farmers get crop loans from cooperative
2015 Kashmir Despatch