Demonetisation: More steps to deal with rural cash crunch; debit card charge waived off

The government today announced a few more measures to help the farmers and consumers to deal with the prevailing cash crunch and the sudden digitisation of the economy.

The government said Nabard and the RBI will take steps to make cash available to cooperative banks to help the farmers deal with the situation.

atm-queueThe National Bank for Agricultural and Rural Development (Nabard) has also sanctioned Rs 21,000 crore limit to district central cooperative banks, said Shaktikanta Das, secretary, department of economic affairs, who has now almost become the government's face of demonetisation.

Here are the key steps announced today:

1) Nabard has sanctioned Rs 21,000 crore limit to district central cooperative banks with an objective to ease the cash crunch in the rural areas, which has hit the agriculture sector hard. Banks, Nabard and RBI will make cash available to co-operative banks. According to him, as much as 40 percent of small and marginal farmers get credit from co-operative banks. Finance minister Arun Jaitley held meeting with Nabard and RBI and advised them to carry out whole chain of activities smoothly.

2) The government has set up 1.55 lakh point of sales machines for disbursing new currency in rural areas.

3) Public sector banks and select private sector banks have agreed to waive off the service charge levied on debit cards until 31 Decemeber.

4) Service charge on online ticket booking of railways has been waived off.

5) The government plans to install RFID tags on cars to facilitate cashless transactions at tolls.

6) More than 82,000 ATMs recalibrated already. All the ATMs will be serviced in a few days' time.

7) The RBI has introduced special dispensation for small merchants and doubled the limit of semi-closed prepaid payment instruments (PPIs) to Rs 20,000 to facilitate digital transactions.

Updated Date: Nov 23, 2016 12:04 PM

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