Digital India programme has made a significant and positive impact in the lives of common citizens in the country, stated Union Minister of State for Finance Dr Bhagwat Kisanrao Karad in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha on Monday.
Giving more details, the Minister stated that as apprised by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), in terms of extant instructions, with effect from September 7, 1999, Scheduled Commercial Banks have however been given the freedom to fix service charges for various types of services rendered by them.
While fixing service charges, banks have, however, been advised to ensure that the charges are reasonable and not out of line with the average cost of providing these services.
They have been further advised to identify basic services and the principles to be adopted /followed by them for ensuring reasonableness in fixing such charges and to take steps to ensure that customers are made aware of the service charges upfront and changes in the service charges are implemented only with the prior notice to the customers.
The Minister further stated that the above instructions are consolidated in paragraph 6 of Master Circular on ‘Customer Service in Banks’ issued vide DBR. No.Leg.BC.21/09.07.006/2015-16 dated July 1, 2015, which is available on RBI website www.rbi.org.in .
Also, RBI vide circular DPSS.CO.PD No. 1633 / 02.14.003 / 2017-18 dated December 06, 2017, banks have inter- alia, been advised to ensure that merchants on-boarded by them do not pass on MDR charges to customers while accepting payments through debit cards.
Further, vide Circular 32 of 2019 dated 30 December 2019 of Department of Revenue, any charge, including the Merchant Discount Rate (MDR), shall not be applicable on or after 01.01.2020 on payment made through prescribed electronic modes i.e. RuPay Debit card, BHIM-UPI, and BHIM-UPI QR Code, the Minister stated.
The Minister stated that the brief details of major Digital India initiatives, inter-alia, are at Annexure.