Government on Monday removed excise duty on goods for manufacturing of POS (Point of Sale) machines - commonly called card swipe machines - that are in great demand as merchants are being compelled to use them in the wake of currency crisis. 

"POS machines will be exempted from 12.5 per cent excise duty and 4 per cent SAD (Special Additional Duty) till March 31, 2017," a source said. 

A notification to this effect was tabled by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the Lok Sabha today amid uproar over the demonetisation issue.

Source: b'Citizens queue up outside bank to exchange scrapped currency notes/ Source: PTI'

The notification "exempts Central Excise/CV duty on all goods for manufacture of POS devices subject to actual user condition and these exemptions will be valid till March 31, 2017". 

There has been a spurt in demand for POS machines on account of cash crunch following scrapping of high value currency notes of Rs 500/1,000 by the government with effect from mid-night of November 8. As per this report, a private bank official said request for such machines has upped from 5000 requests a month to 5000 in a day.

A quick Google search shows that such a machine costs between Rs 3000 and Rs 9000.

The POS machines are handheld devices which are being increasingly used by merchants to accept payments for goods sold through credit and debit cards.

(Feature image source: Reuters)