Demonetisation: Banks ready to waive service charges on debit card use till Dec 31

New Delhi, Nov 23: Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das on Wednesday said some public-sector banks had agreed to waive off service charges on the use of debit cards till December 31. Amid a cash crunch faced by Indians following the government’s decision to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, some private banks were also willing to forgo service charges on debit cards, Das added.

To encourage the use of digital payment platforms among Indians, Das informed, all digital transactions through feature phones would not attract any service charges till December 31. “All government organisations, PSUs and agencies have been advised to use digital payments for paying salaries and other expenses,” Das said.

Besides, to help agricultural credits, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) has sanctioned a special limit of Rs 21,000 crore to district central cooperative banks. According to the DEA secretary, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), banks and Nabard have been instructed to make available cash to cooperative banks to ensure farmers get credit and certain amount in cash.

The debit card service charge waiver decision of banks follows a similar waiver on railway tickets announced by Indian railways on Tuesday. The railways had said service charges would not be charged on e-tickets booked till December 31 through its IRCTC platform.