Petrol pumps in Karnataka will stop accepting debit and credit cards from Monday to protest what the petroleum dealers call an "irrational and sudden" move by banks to charge 1% transaction fee on every payment accepted by card.
Speaking to TOI, BR Ravindranath, president, Akhila Karnataka Federation of Petroleum Traders and Bangalore Petroleum Dealers Association, said, "They (banks) must apologise to the public."
Stating that the profit of all petroleum dealers are determined by the oil marketing companies (OMCs), which have fixed the net profit at 0.3% to 0.5%, Ravindranath said: "If the banks straight away levy a 1% transaction fee, where do they expect us to go. It becomes extremely difficult to survive in such circumstances."
BR Ravindranath claimed that petroleum dealers' associations across the country have unanimously decided to stop accepting card payments.
The banks' move will not target the citizens directly as no new charges will be levied on customers using cards.
But if petrol stations continue with cash-only operations, it will certainly inconvenience lakhs of vehicle owners given the paucity of cash in the system.