<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Despite the government’s increasing push for digital payments, cash continued to remain the preferred mode of payment at the toll booths. Days after toll collection at national highways resumed after a 23-day hiatus post demonetization, more than 90 per cent of the commuters paid toll fee in cash. According to National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) sources, almost 92 per cent of the vehicles preferred paying their toll fee using cash on December 6, of which around 78 per cent used notes of lower denominations.About 16 per cent of the commuters used the new Rs 2,000 notes and the old Rs 500 notes, a top official said, adding that the majority used the old notes. Similarly, on December 4 and 5, around 95 per cent of commuters paid the toll fee using cash, of which 84 per cent used lower denominations. Despite equipping the toll plazas in advance with multiple digital payment options, including 3,800 point of sale (PoS) machines, limited vehicles chose the mode, government officials said. Sources informed that only about 3.69 per cent of vehicles paid their toll fee using the Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) facility, while about 2 per cent of the vehicles used debit/credit cards and other modes of e-payment to pay the toll fee. Even on December 4 and 5, only 3 per cent of the vehicles have paid the toll fee using the RFID facility and nearly the same percentage of commuters used debit/credit cards and other modes of e-payments. The Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways is advising vehicle manufacturers to provide RFID facility in all new vehicles. With RFID tags on, vehicles can pass toll tax booths without having to stop. The toll amount is deducted from the RFID card, which can later be recharged. The government has already installed PoS machines in more than 95 per cent of the toll plazas. NHAI collects an average Rs 51.59 crore per day from the toll booths.
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