After declaring incentives to encourage cashless purchases of petrol, the government is now assuring users that it is safe to use mobile phones at petrol pumps, albeit within specific safety guidelines.
The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, through its Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation, has told the petroleum ministry that it is completely safe to use mobile phones at petrol stations at a certain height and distance from the pumps. “We want to promote digital transactions and bust any myths about phone use being overtly dangerous at petrol pumps,” a senior government official said.
Cashless payments at petrol pumps surged after it was announced that old Rs 500
notes would no longer be accepted for transactions. The government had also allowed withdrawal of Rs 2,000 at petrol pumps by swiping debit cards through point of sale machines. Various petroleum dealer associations had raised concerns over the use of mobile phones at fuelling stations.
Apart from specifying zones where mobile phones can be used, petrol pumps are required to get point-of-sale machines approved by DIPP before using them. The department highlighted special precautions to be taken in case of two-wheelers because of their proximity to fuel pumps during payment transactions.
Petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who has been promoting cashless transactions at petrol pumps, had met commerce and industry minister Nirmala Sitharaman recently to discuss the safety issues.