With a view to promote digital transactions, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is working to reduce the Marginal Discount Charges (MDR) for debit card transactions above Rs 2,000, Parliament was told on Tuesday.
"RBI is deciding on this…it is work in progress. I am sure as volumes (of digital transactions) are increasing, the charges will come down," the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told the Rajya Sabha during the Question Hour.
Jaitley said that under the Payments and Settlements Act, the RBI has recently fixed the MDR rate at 0.25 per cent for cash transactions upto Rs 1,000, while for transactions upto Rs 2,000 it has been fixed at 0.50 per cent.
These charges have been introduced for the period from January 1, 2017, and will be applicable till March 31, 2017.
As per RBI's rate structure announced in 2012, the MDR for transactions valued above Rs 2,000 has been capped 1 per cent.
Jaitley also said the charge for debit card transactions in petrol pumps is being absorbed by state-run oil companies, while the similar charges for rail travel transactions are being absorbed by the government.