Money & Banking

Pranab: Free all e-banking transactions from charges

| | Updated on: Jun 12, 2012
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Your electronic banking transactions could be free of charge, if the Finance Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, has his way. Small transactions on debit cards may also become charge-free.

Addressing the chief executives of public sector banks and financial institutions here on Tuesday, the Finance Minister appreciated the recent decision taken by Oriental Bank of Commerce to waive all charges for Net-based real time gross settlement (RTGS) /national electronic fund transfer (NEFT) transactions up to Rs 1 lakh.

He said, “I am confident that all the public sector banks would follow this excellent initiative. I would also urge upon the Reserve Bank of India to proactively work on this front and to see that all electronic banking transactions are possible without any charges being levied.” He requested all stakeholders to work in this direction so that use of cash could be minimised.

The Finance Minister also said that the use of debit cards at the point-of-sale without any transaction charges, at least for micro and small transactions, should be the next objective. He felt that farmers should be able to buy agricultural inputs using their Kisan Credit Cards (KCC)-cum-debit cards at point-of-sale machines, without the use of cash. All fair price shops should be similarly covered. Mr Mukherjee presented a five-point agenda to the banks for special attention. These include Kisan Credit Card for every farmer and conversion of existing card into debit card, bank account for every family to provide electronic transfer benefit, implementation of education loan scheme, branch expansion and issuance of credit card by regional rural banks and promotion of electronic transactions by public sector banks.

On the increasing non-performing assets, he asked banks to take measures to check them. However, Mr Mukherjee advised that this should not slow the credit to productive sectors. Bank lending grew 16.37 per cent in 2011-12 against 13.49 per cent in 2010-11. At the same time, gross NPAs grew to 3.10 per cent from 2.31 per cent.

>Shishir.s@thehindu.co.in

Published on March 12, 2018

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