Oil companies have decided to pitch in to reduce the queues at banks and ATMs, by dispensing Rs 2000 per day per person against debit and credit cards at select petrol pumps of the country.
The facility will initially be available at 2500 petrol pumps across the country that have card swipe machines from State Bank of India, the country’s largest bank. Over the next three days, the facility will be extended to 20,000 outlets that have card swipe machines from HDFC Bank, Citibank and ICICI Bank.
The petrol pumps need to have a State Bank of India Point of Sale machine. These are machines that are used for debit or credit card transactions. The cash will be dispensed by the pump attendants after the card is swiped.
Sources say the facility will be available even after November 24, 2016. Petrol pumps have been accepting currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 denominations. They will be doing so till November 24.
The move by oil companies is expected to reduce queues at banks, especially for those who need to exchange old notes for new.
The decision came after a meeting between officials of public sector oil companies – like Indian Oil Corporation Limited, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited – and Arundhati Bhattacharya, who heads the country’s largest lender, State Bank of India.
The oil companies have conveyed to the government that despite the rush at pumps since November 8, there is no shortage of petroleum products and consumers can purchase them as per needs.
The companies also plan to launch an awareness campaign for consumers to help them shift to cashless transactions – credit/debit cards, mobile wallets and loyalty programmes for purchase of fuel and reduce dependence on cash.