The government on Friday started dispensing cash up to Rs 2,000 per day per debit card through 686 petrol pumps, mainly in rural India, and plans to add e-wallet next week to this scheme to ease the cash crunch following its decision to withdraw Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes.
The facility will be extended to 2,500 petrol pumps by the weekend and eventually 20,000 outlets that have been identified among the three state-run oil marketing companies — Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum — across the country.
Under the scheme, the pump owner will get a daily disbursal limit of Rs 1 lakh after issuing a cheque of similar amount to State Bank of India as security. The drawdown of each day would be replenished by SBI the next day so as to keep the pump’s daily disbursal limit at Rs 1 lakh. Under this rule, a pump can cater to 50 people per day.
As per the list of identified pumps of the three companies, nearly 70 per cent of them are in rural areas, where long queues have been seen at banks and ATMs due to their limited number. Allowing petrol pumps would spread the points of disbursal, said a government official.
“If this is successful, e-wallets will be allowed for the same in the next couple of days,” he said. A digital wallet is an electronic device that allows an individual to make electronic commercial transactions. “This facility will be available even after November 24,” said a petroleum ministry statement.
The government on Thursday allowed swiping of debit cards at select petrol pumps where point of sale (PoS) machines of SBI would be kept for drawing up to Rs 2,000 per day per card. PoS machines are the machines that are generally used for debit or credit card transactions.
Petrol pumps have been told to accept the now defunct currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denominations until November 24.