From a mere 6% before demonstisation, the cashless transactions at fuel retail outlets of oil marketing companies (OMCs) have jumped to 17.9%, petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan told at the meeting of the Consultative Committee of the Members of Parliament for the ministry of petroleum and natural gas in Srinagar on Friday. In a presentation, Pradhan said the daily cashless transactions have increased from Rs 150 crore per day to Rs 400 crore per day. On November 8, 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi invalidated the then-existing Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denomination currency notes which led to a massive cash crunch in the economy.
The petroleum ministry on its part took various measures to ease out the situation. It undertook a three-pronged strategy — rapid expansion of digital payment infrastructure at fuel stations, massive awareness campaign and incentivising consumers. At present, 38,128 retail outlets are equipped with point-of-sale machines and more than 86% of them have digital infrastructure. Over 35,000 consumer awareness campaigns have been organised in the country, in all major regional languages.
Of the 2,000 crore transactions happening at outlets, around 360 crore are cashless transactions. Pradhan, in a release, added that in order to promote digital transactions by consumers, OMCs are giving 0.75% discount to the customers on purchase of fuel through cashless mode. On average, e-wallet transactions hit 48,000 for value amounting to Rs 3.60 crore per day. The meeting was held to apprise the committee on digital mode of payments and the promotions undertaken by the petroleum ministry.