A day after the central government allowed dispensing cash of up to Rs 2,000 through debit card swipe at select petrol pumps, several fuel stations in Gujarat on Friday turned people away, citing lack of mechanism.
“We have not received any circular stating the implementation of this scheme of dispensing cash. We are totally unaware about the way it has to be done. Specific machines needed for this kind of cash dispensation and we do not have the same,” said an employee of Hindustan Petroleum pump on Chhani Road in Vadodara. The petrol pump witnessed a stream of people arriving since morning to withdraw cash, but they all had to return empty-handed. “We had to tell them that we are not dispensing the cash,” the staffer said.
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In Fatehgunj area of the city, an Indian Oil pump turned away people as no official communication was made and no POS (point of sale) machines of the State Bank of India (SBI) was made available. An employee said, “We don’t have any clear information about cash dispensation. Moreover, only those petrol pumps that have SBI card swipe machines will be able to dispense cash. Only 2,500 pumps across India have been chosen for this cash dispensation.”
The same was the case in Ahmedabad. A senior official of Hindustan Petroleum Corporat-ion Limited (HPCL) said that the dispensing of money could not start from the company-owned petrol pumps because, “none of the HP petrol pumps are having SBI debit card swipe machines. The other reason is that SBI has not yet provided cash to them”.
“Cash dispensing can begin only with SBI providing cash and also its own card swipe machines,” said a senior HPCL official posted in Ahmedabad.
He said that most HP petrol pumps were having card PoS machines of private banks such as ICICI, HDFC and Axis. “Not even a single company-owned petrol pump anywhere in Gujarat is having SBI card swipe machine and hence, the cash dispensing can not take place even if SBI provides us cash,” said the official, requesting anonymity. Asked if the company-owned petrol had enough staff to undertake this job, he said: “We have sufficient staff as also adequate space, but the problem is that of cash. Let the banks supply us cash.” “We don’t have any official direction regarding dispensing of money,” said Padmajaysinh J Rathod of Sainik Seva Services petrol pump, near Shivranjani crossroads, in Satellite area.