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‘Petrol pumps to accept card payment till Friday’

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New Delhi/Kolkata Jan 9:  Petrol pumps across the country will continue to accept credit and debit cards till Friday, an AIPDA official said on Monday.

The All India Petroleum Dealers Association’s decided to revise its earlier announcement after consulting with the Petroleum Ministry, as banks also deferred charging transaction fee up to one per cent on card payments.

On Sunday, the association had announced that they would not accept payments through credit and debit cards from Monday in protest against the additional charge levied on such transactions.

“The AIPDA on Sunday decided to stop accepting payment through credit and debit cards till the decision to levy these additional charges are reversed.

“Late on Sunday, banks communicated to us they will not levy the transaction fee on card payments till January 13. Accordingly, we have decided to continue accepting payments through cards till Friday,” AIPDA’s West Bengal unit’s General Secretary Saradindu Pal told IANS.

West Bengal Petroleum Dealers’ Association (a unit of AIPDA) President Tushar Kanti Sen said: “We took the decision very late on Sunday night because some banks communicated that they would not levy transaction fee till January 13 but some did not.

“We kept a close watch. Eventually, the Ministry requested us to defer the decision till January 13.”

In a letter to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, AIPDA President Ajay Bansal wrote that the HDFC and other banks would start charging one per cent on all credit card transactions, and between 0.25 and 1 per cent on all debit card transactions from Monday.

“The same will be debited to petroleum dealers’ account and net transaction value will be credited to our account… This will lead to financial losses for the dealers,” Bansal wrote.

However, he had added, if any bank is not charging additional MDR and corresponds the same to the association, the petrol pumps having Point of Sale (POS) devices of those banks would keep accepting cards.

“If banks start levying fees, it will cause squeezing of dealers’ margin,” Pal said.

AIPDA’s decision for not accepting payments through cards came at a time when the Centre had directed state-run oil companies to offer a 0.75 per cent discount on the price of petrol and diesel to consumers paying by cards or mobile wallets to encourage people towards digital payments.

“This discount amount was supposed to be reimbursed to the dealers, but is not being executed properly,” Pal said. He said dealers have been working on a low margin and demanded raising the dealers’ commission to five per cent from the existing rate of three per cent taking petrol and diesel together.

IANS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Business

How to start your own cryptocurrency

Hands up who’ll buy an IdiotToken from me? And no, you can’t pay me in cryptocoins. I want hard cash. I may be an idiot but I’m not stupid.

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Fed up of standing by watching while others make and lose fortunes on cryptocurrencies? Now you too can make and lose a fortune!

This columnist realised it was time to tackle this topic when a news report said more than 1,500 Bitcoin-like cryptocurrencies had been launched and a reader asked me for advice on starting his own.

Easy, I said. Whose head would you like to be on it? He chose his own, which showed me that he had no idea what a cryptocurrency was. They are not physical coins, so don’t have anyone’s heads on them.

Never mind. Most people don’t understand these things. This is good.

Things you can sell to unsuspecting friends as Bitcoins: 1) game arcade tokens; 2) foreign coins; 3) toy medals; and 4) chocolate money.

But one of my more serious colleagues is starting his own cryptocurrency; so I know the system.

1. Download the main coin mining software from a website called Github, then hire a nerd, as you have to tweak the programme (with C++) to make it unique.

2. Think of a theme. It is impossible to be too wacky. For example, one person made a cryptocoin called “Offerings to Cthulhu”, named after an alien from a 1928 sci-fi story. You’d think that was too silly to work, but it is going strong after several years.

3. When people start buying your currency, sell them all and run away as fast as you can.

If the last part of this process reminds you of anything, it should. It is the same technique used by people working for criminal gangs (“banks”) for pushing evil scams such as sales of stocks and shares, unit trusts, investment bonds, Ponzi schemes, etc.

It’s an exciting field. In January this year, the value of Bitcoins was going up and down so fast (in a $10,000 range) that you had to discuss it with a live price tracker in your hand. Here’s a typical conversation:

ME: “I’ll buy your car for one Bitcoin.” HIM: “No way! This car’s worth more than… $9,845.” ME: “More than… $11,245? No, it isn’t. That’s a good price.” HIM: “Okay, you got a deal.” ME: “I’m now transferring to you one Bitcoin.” HIM: “Wait. This is only worth… $7,231.” ME: “Too late, Byeee.” [Drives off.]

Bitcoin analysts say the number of new coin issues is accelerating so we’ll each have our own currency in “the mid-to-long-term future”, meaning a week next Tuesday. Shopping will be challenging.

SHOPPER: “Do you accept Flurgles?” SHOPKEEPER: “Yes, but your change will be in Oogliewooglies.”

What to call your coin? All the cool names have already been taken, including Mysterium, Einsteinium and BitBean. Others are odd, like the Melon, or desperately unimaginative, like the Namecoin.

I reckon it’s time to stand out and get attention by using an ironically humorous name for your new Bitcoin. Four suggestions:

1) SweetLittleNothings; 2) Don’tBuyThese; 3) Moneypits; and 4) IdiotTokens.

Okay, hands up who’ll buy an IdiotToken from me? And no, you can’t pay me in cryptocoins. I want hard cash. I may be an idiot but I’m not stupid.

By : Nury Vittachi

(Nury Vittachi is an Asia-based frequent traveller. Send ideas and comments via his Facebook page)

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Equities propel on broad-based buying, cues from Asian markets

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Mumbai, Feb 23: The key Indian equity indices on Friday closed at almost a week’s high levels as positive cues from the Asian markets, along with a strong rupee and value buying, uplifted investors’ sentiments.

According to market observers, easing worries of a rate-hike by the US Federal Reserve in the near term, coupled with healthy buying in almost all the sectors — led by metals, banking and healthcare stocks — added to the upward trajectory of the key indices.

The wider Nifty50 of the National Stock Exchange (NSE) edged higher by 108.35 points, or 1.04 per cent, to close at 10,491.05 points.

The barometer 30-scrip Sensitive Index (Sensex) of the BSE settled near its day’s high of 34,167.60 points to close at 34,142.15 points — up 322.65 points, or 0.95 per cent, from its previous close.

The BSE market breadth was bullish with 1,899 advances and 831 declines.

The broader market indices outperformed the Sensex, with the S&P BSE mid-cap index closing higher by 1.47 per cent and the small-cap index by 1.54 per cent.

“Markets surged higher on Friday as the Nifty closed just below the 10,500 levels. The gains came on the back of positive Asian equity markets,” Deepak Jasani, Head – Retail Research, HDFC Securities, told IANS.

“It was also the first trading session of the derivatives March near-month series. The Sensex and the Nifty settled at over one-week high on broad-based buying,” Jasani added.

On the currency front, the Indian rupee strengthened by 31 paise to close at 64.73 against the US dollar from its previous close at 65.04.

In terms of investments, provisional data with the exchanges showed that foreign institutional investors sold scrips worth Rs 486.32 crore, while domestic institutional investors purchased stocks worth Rs 1,514.03 crore.

Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services, said: “Market rebounded amid value buying on beaten down sectors like PSU banks, metal and pharma.”

“Additionally, ease in fears on US Fed rate hike trajectory led the 10-year yield to fall, comforting investors’ sentiment,” Nair added.

All the 19 sub-indices of the BSE closed with gains, led by metals, banking and healthcare sectors.

The S&P BSE metal index rose by 469.96 points, banking index by 356.63 points and healthcare index by 266.85 points.

Major Sensex gainers on Friday were: Tata Steel, up 6.26 per cent at Rs 677.80; Sun Pharma, up 5.17 per cent at Rs 570.20; Yes Bank, up 2.28 per cent at Rs 323.60; Dr Reddy’s Lab, up 2.26 per cent at Rs 2,169.25; and Bharti Airtel, up 2.26 per cent at Rs 425.45.

The Sensex losers were: Asian Paints, down 1.29 per cent at Rs 1,101.90; Coal India, down 0.48 per cent at Rs 310.45; Infosys, down 0.42 per cent at Rs 1,155.65; Mahindra and Mahindra, down 0.22 per cent at Rs 719.30; and Hindustan Unilever, down 0.16 per cent at Rs 1,323.

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PNB stocks plunge over 30% in 8 trade sessions

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Mumbai, Feb 23: During the eight trading sessions following the detection of a $1.8 billion fraud in one of the branches of the Punjab National Bank (PNB), the bank’s shares on the BSE have plunged almost 30 percent to a price of Rs 113.40 per share.

On Friday — the eight trading day since the unfolding of the multi-crore-rupee scam — shares of PNB closed lower by 1.09 per cent at Rs 113.40 per scrip.

The stocks have plummetted 29.84 per cent since close on February 12 at Rs 161.65 per share.

Gitanjali Gems, the other entity involved in the fraud case, also witnessed a fall in its shares for the eighth consecutive day — down 4.98 per cent to Rs 24.80 per share on Friday.

Since its closing at Rs 62.85 per share on February 12, the company’s share has nosedived 60.54 per cent.

The shares of the two companies had started to decline following the country’s second largest state-run bank PNB’s declaration on February 14 of unearthing a fraud of Rs 11,300 crore involving diamantaire Nirav Modi.

The fraud, which included money-laundering, among others, was related to the Firestar Diamonds group in which the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) booked Modi, his wife Ami, brother Nishal Modi and uncle and business partner Mehul Choksi — the promoter of luxury jewellery brand Gitanjali Gems.

IANS

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