RS: Oppn criticises new surcharge levied on card transactions

SansadTV Bureau

The Opposition parties in the Rajya Sabha raised the issue of transaction surcharge on credit card payments for fuel purchase at petrol pumps as well as new charges being introduced on ATM withdrawals.

Raising the issue through a Zero Hour mention, Naresh Agrawal (SP) said despite the promise that no fuel surcharge will be levied on purchase of petrol and diesel through credit and debit cards, customers are being levied a charge of up to two per cent.

Banks have also introduced levies on more than four ATM withdrawals, he said. Charges are also being imposed for not maintaining minimum balance in saving bank accounts. Banks, he said, have not agreed to the government’s advise to reconsider the levies.

Alleging government’s patronage to PayTM, Agrawal said in the name of Digital India, the government has promoted business interest of Chinese-backed digital wallet PayTM, whose valuation has jumped from USD 3 billion to USD 5 billion after the high denomination currency notes were demonetised and use of digital modes for payment were stressed.

CPI(M)’s Sitaram Yechury said he was charged Rs 144 as ATM charges on his saving bank account with State Bank of India (SBI) despite not using the ATM. “This is happening without any announcement (of levy of such charge),” he said.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the allegation for patronage to PayTM were wrong.

Deputy Chairman P J Kurien asked him to convey to the Finance Minister the personal complaint of Yechury on charges being levied on ATM without prior intimation.

(With inputs from the PTI)