Admitting that there are visible and hidden costs in reducing cash volume in the economy, the government on Thursday announced a series of eleven measures designed to increase the pace of digital payments towards ushering in a cashless economy.
Among the measures, payment by card for petrol and diesel will enjoy a discount of 0.75 per cent, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told reporters in New Delhi. The date for rolling out the scheme will be notified shortly, he added.
He said that in one month since the demonetisation of high value currency on November 8, the percentage of digital payments at petrol vends has gone up from 20 per cent to 40 per cent.
Customers will get a higher discount on digital payment as all central undertakings will ensure that the transaction fee and merchant discount rate (MDR) charges are waived on such payments, Jaitley said.
Suburban railway monthly and season tickets bought through digital payment will get a 0.5 per cent discount, effective from January 1, 2017, beginning with the Mumbai suburban railway network.
Passengers paying for railway tickets online will get free accident insurance cover of Rs 10 lakh, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced on Thursday.
Also, there will be a 5% discount on digital payment mode for railway facilities like catering, retiring rooms.
Two POS (point-of-sale) machines will be provided to villages with population of 10,000 and one lakh villages will be selected as part of this scheme, the minister said.
RFID and FASTag procured through digital payments at toll plazas across all national highways will get a discount of 10%.
Jaitley also announced that online payment for public sector insurance companies (life insurance and general insurance) will get 10 per cent discount for general insurance and 8 per cent discount for life insurance for new policies sold.