- Using cards and e-wallets to buy fuel will now attract a 0.75% discount
- Suburban train passengers paying digitally to get 0.5% off on tickets
- People paying digitally at national highway toll plazas to get 10% off
It's been a month since the government banned old 500 and 1000-rupee notes as part of its fight against unaccounted or black money. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today announced 11 measures that the government has taken to expedite the digital switchover, including a 0.75 per cent discount for those who purchase petrol or diesel through digital payments.
Following are the highlights of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's media briefing:
- The aim of demonetisation is to reduce cash transactions as much as possible.
- The government is encouraging alternate forms of payment. It aims to push and implement the use of credit cards, debit cards, mobile wallets and online banking.
- Around 4.5 crore consumers purchase fuel every day. For those using cards and e-wallets, petrol and diesel purchases will now attract a 0.75% discount.
- The government will provide 2 POS or Point of Sale machines for free to each village that has a population of over 10,000. Around 75 crore people will get access to these machines.
- Also, more than four crore farmers eligible for the scheme will be given a RuPay card, a government issued card, to use at swipe machines, Micro ATMs and ATMs, the finance minister said.
- Suburban train passengers who pay digitally for their monthly or seasonal tickets will get a 0.5% discount. This discount will be applicable from January 1, 2017.
- Railways passengers who purchase tickets online will be entitled to an accident insurance coverage of Rs 10 lakh.
- Passengers purchasing tickets online will also get a 5% discount on accommodation, catering and retiring room at railway stations across India.
- No service tax will be charged on debit and credit card transactions of up to Rs 2,000. Currently, a 15 per cent tax is imposed on these transactions.
- People paying general insurance premiums will get a 10% discount and 8% discount for life insurance if the payment is made online.
- Central Government bodies and central PSU's will not charge a transaction fee for digital payments.
- People who pay digitally, and use Smart TAGs and RFID - similar to prepaid cards or electronic chips - facilities at toll plazas on highways will get a 10% discount.
- Excessive cash can also lead to malpractices, and thus it is being discouraged. The shift to a 'less-cash' economy has to be achieved.
- The cost of these discounts will be borne by the concerned institutions.
- Dealing in cash brings its own costs and burdens, so this will be a welcome change.
- Merely depositing money into bank accounts won't change black to white. All these transactions will be closely scrutinised and a tax will be imposed on it.
- Any misconduct will be dealt with seriously.
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