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Centre trying to overcome demonetisation ‘blunder’: Vadra pours scorn over petrol pump row

India TV Politics Desk New Delhi 09 Jan 2017, 10:32:07 IST
India TV Politics Desk

Congress President Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra lambasted the Narendra Modi government for the latest crisis owing to its push on cashless transactions.

Referring to the refusal of petrol pumps to take debit/credit cards due to transaction charge imposed by banks, Vadra in a facebook post said "The Govt seems to have reached its levels of desperation to overcome the initial blunder it created, through the unplanned and unthought (sic) process of demonetisation."

Accusing Centre of acting unilaterally without consulting or coordinating with agencies and organisations that are stakeholders, Vadra said  that when the common man didn't immediately jump on the digital bandwagon, the government "offered sops to push people to use Debit/Credit cards.

"After sops and a degree of coercion forced people to attempt more digital transactions, the government again failed, as is exemplified in the latest fracas with petrol pumps," Vadra said.

"when people started using more of cashless means, now lack of coordination with banks and their policies is forcing petrol pump owners to adopt these drastic steps," he added.

Vadra was talking about petrol pumps yesterday threatening to refuse card payments for fuel. The owners are agitated that banks planned to charge a 1% transaction fee on card and debit payments at petrol pumps from today.

"What was the whole meaning to offer 0.75 % discount and then the banks start charging MDR (Merchant Deposit Rate, or transaction fee) 1% from petrol pumps ? I dont see any rational, do you? (sic)," Vadra said.

In a Facebook post last month, Vadra accused the Centre of of "experimenting on us, to try and prove itself correct" - after it scrapped R 500 and Rs 1,000 notes - and of constantly changing the rules.