Opposition in Rajya Sabha criticises surcharge on card payment at petrol pumps

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

Published: 16th March 2017 02:56 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th March 2017 02:56 PM   |  A+A-

Members in the Rajya Sabha in New Delhi (File | PTI)

By PTI

NEW DELHI: Opposition parties in the Rajya Sabha today 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 percent.

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.

Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M) 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.

Md Nadimul Haque (TMC) raised the issue of private hospitals charging exorbitant rates for treatment in a "non-transparent" manner.

He suggested that the Centre should also enact a legislation on the lines of the one done in West Bengal to provide for penalties for over-charging and compensation in case of deaths caused by medical negligence. In his special mention, Mohd Ali Khan (Cong) said several private hospital were forcing CGHS card holders to go for treatment outside the Central Government Health Scheme package.

Congress member Husain Dalwai raised the issue of female  foeticide, especially in Maharashtra, and specifically mentioned an incident in the Sangli district.

Maharashtra Minister Pankaja Munde had recently announced that a female police official will probe the case of 19 aborted female foetuses found dumped in Sangli district.

Dalwai said that while there were laws to deal with the menace, they were not being strictly implemented.

He said the sex ratio in the country has declined from 927 in 2001 to 914 in 2011.

Kurien also that it was a very serious issue and government should take note of it.

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