With no chance of long queues outside banks and ATMs reducing anytime soon, a new facility has been introduced to reduce people's woes. One can now get cash at petrol pumps, after the ban on Rs 500 and 1,000 notes.
In a bid to ease cash crunch, the government on Thursday allowed dispensing cash of up to Rs 2,000 through debit card swipes at petrol pumps run by state-run oil companies. The facility will be available at 2,500 petrol pumps for now, which already have card swipe machines from State Bank of India (SBI).
The plan is to extend this, over the next three days, to 20,000 stations that have POS machines or card swipe machines from HDFC Bank, Citibank and ICICI Bank, reported The Economic Times.
POS machines are generally used for debit or credit card transactions. You can go to a petrol pump, swipe your debit card and the employees at the petrol pumps will hand you the specified amount of cash.
The move was initially suggested by the All India Petroleum Dealers Association (AIPDA), following demonetisation, according to The Economic Times.
Our pump attendants are as good as, if not better than, bank tellers when it comes to handling cash. In banks, they have to make several entries. At petrol pumps, we will swipe and once the transaction is cleared, hand over the money. So it will be quicker and people can come to get cash even after work.Ajay Bansal, AIPDA President
However, there are doubts about this move as there already is a cash shortage at ATMs with many returning empty-handed and petrol pumps could become chaotic without there being enough notes to dispense.
There already is a bit of a rush at petrol pumps, with people trying to pay with old Rs 500 or 1,000 notes for smaller payments, so that they can get their hands on Rs 100 and lower denominations.
Temporary Currency Exchange Counters at Airports
National airports operator Airports Authority of India (AAI) on Thursday said it will allow scheduled commercial banks to operate temporary currency exchange counters at its airports as people still face difficulties.
AAI said in a release:
Extending its support for the government’s demonetisation move and facilitating airport users and air travellers, AAI has decided to allow any scheduled commercial bank to open and operate (on temporary basis) currency exchange counter (small).
AAI said such counters can operate free of cost till 31 December. It would not levy any charges for space and electricity.
There are 75 operational airports, including six run under joint ventures.
A ministry official said the arrangement would not be there at airports run under joint ventures. In these cities, there are already sufficient bank branches and exchange counters, the official added.
(With inputs from PTI and The Economic Times)