BENGALURU: The 1,980 wholesale traders who run their business at the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) at Yeshwantpur are willing to embrace Narendra Modi’s call for cashless transactions and adopt point of sale (POS) machines. However, they insist that the Finance Minister should consider collecting a reduced service fee in the case of wholesalers.
The final draft of the letter, to be sent to the Finance Ministry in the coming week on behalf of the traders, was being readied by Ramesh Chandra Lahoti, president of the Bangalore Wholesale Foodgrains & Pulses Merchants Association.
Explaining the reluctance of wholesalers to adopt POS machines to ease transactions during cash crunch, Lahoti said, “If we use a RuPay machine that is authorised by the Reserve Bank of India, a commission of 1 per cent is to be paid for every transaction made. Our business here (prior to demonetisation) averages Rs 50 crore a day. If we go in for digital sales, our yard alone will end up paying Rs 5 lakh as transaction charges daily.”
Stating that this was a big sum, the traders want the charges for wholesale traders alone to be reduced to anything between .25 per cent and .3 per cent, Lahoti added.
“The customer does not incur any burden. Once per cent is too much for a wholesale trader as our profits are in the range of 1 or 2 per cent,” said Lahoti, who is also the proprietor of Sunil & Co. In the case of Mastercard or Visa machines, the charges are 1.5 per cent, he said.
Retailers can afford to use these machines and pay 1 per cent as they have a 15-20 per cent margin on every product sold, the trader said.
Concurring with this view, Rudrap Singhal, proprietor of Shree Singhal Trading Company, said, “Our profits are just 2 per cent. How do you expect us to pay 1.5 per cent out of this amount as transaction charges? There is no point in doing our business then.”
The letter to the Ministry is likely to be sent on Monday.