922 cr for toll operators; ATM operations demand compensation too


New Delhi, December 31: After toll operators, ATM operators too are also planning to ask government for compensation.

During 50 day demonetisation window ATM industry is estimated to have lost hundreds of crore as banks continued to keep the machines dry off cash.

“If the government can compensate toll operators for loss due to demonetisation, they should do the same for ATM operators,” said Navroz Dastur, MD, NCR India to ET on Saturday. Dastur is the largest ATM manufacturer in the country.

V Balasubramanian, president (transaction processing and ATM service), FSS, said, “More than 60% of ATMs in the country operate on a per-transaction basis. Given the drop in volumes, the industry bore a loss of Rs 475-500 crore in November. We expect the same for December. While our revenues are zero, our costs have tripled. We ran additional shifts, we reconfigured all ATMs in minimum time.”

Post demonetisation banks said that they preferred to dispense money through over the counter. Even on the 50 th day of noteban only 40 % ATMs were cash filled. Also, ATMs are receiving cash upto only 10 % of their pre denomentation levels. But even when there is no cash in the machine to be dispensed, operators continue to incur operational costs other than cash-related ones.

Another point of contention for ATM operators was the discrimination banks show while filling up ATMs. “Even when banks do refill ATMs, they give priority to ATMs owned by them, which is unfair as both the managed ATMs and network ATMs are the same brand,” said Mamallan. A senior official at Hitachi, said that ATMs are operating at less than a tenth of their note-dispensing capacity.

NHAI to shell out 922 crore for toll loss to private operators

Earlier in the week the media reports suggested that National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) will shell out whopping Rs 922 crore to private highway operators for the toll revenue loss they incurred due to suspending toll collection from November 9 to December 2. The compensation is computed as per average daily collection in October. The total compensation comes out be Rs 1,212 crore for all 317 toll plazas, wherein public-privatepartnership (PPP) loss is estimated around Rs 922 crore.

The proposal was moved by NHAI to compensate private highway operators and “to boost the confidence of private investors”. However the proposal is pending for the approval from the Cabinet committee on economic affairs to get the fund to be released. The NHAI proposal says that the compensation payment has arisen solely on account of the government decision.

Wefornews Bureau

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