New Delhi: The Narendra Modi government on Wednesday announced several news measures to help farmers to meet their cash needs during the ongoing rabi sowing season and directed banks to waive debit card charges to encourage digital payments. These measures come in the wake of a severe cash crunch in the economy after the ban on Rs500 and Rs1,000 notes.
Here is a summary of new rules and guidelines issued by the government:
• Cash deposits in bank and post office accounts above a certain limit—between 9 November and 30 December 2016—will get reported to the income tax department. The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has amended certain income tax rules to track the unaccounted money making its way into bank and post office accounts post demonetisation.
• All public sector banks and some private sector ones have agreed to waive the transaction cost for all payments made through debit cards till 31 December.
• The government on Wednesday announced that it will provide Rs21,000 crore to district central cooperative banks (DCCBs) through NABARD to provide loans to farmers to meet their credit requirements during the winter crop season. The Reserve Bank of India has prohibited DCCBs from dealing with old currencies after demonetisation of Rs500 and Rs.1,000 banknotes was announced.
• Indian Railways also has agreed to waive service charges on online ticket booking till 31 December.
• For smoother digital payments at the toll plazas and to avoid waiting time, vehicle manufacturers have been advised to provide Electronic toll collection (ETC) compliant Radio-frequency identification (RFID) facility in new cars.
• There is no decision to extend the time limit of 24 November for accepting Rs500 and Rs1000 notes . The government had set 24 November as the deadline for many government utilities to receive the demonetised currencies.
• Telecom operators have decided to drop a fee levied on mobile banking transactions, supporting the government’s demonetization of high-value currency notes and the consequent spike in cashless transactions.
• Digital payments company Paytm on Wednesday launched an updated app that will allow small shopkeepers to accept payments made through credit and debit cards. The app will be particularly useful for small shopkeepers without card swiping machines. There are 740 million cards in India at present, but only 1.5 million POS machines.