Fastag: Maintaining minimum balance no longer required
The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) has now removed the mandatory minimum balance requirement for Fastag operation. This means that a user will be able to pass through toll booths as long as they have a non-negative Fastag account balance.
Issuer banks had mandated a minimum account balance for the Fastag account to be active, aside from the security deposit. But this was leading to delays and hassles at toll plazas where users with sufficient balance weren't able to pass through.
With the minimum balance requirement removed, if a user's balance turns negative after passing a toll booth, banks can recover this amount from the security deposit. But this amount will have to be replenished by the user to keep using the Fastag.
Fastag payments are set to become mandatory at toll-plazas come February 15. The NHAI has set a target of 100 per cent cashless transactions at toll booths. Currently, there are 2.54 crore Fastage users. Daily collections have crossed Rs 89 crore, which accounts for 80 per cent of all toll collections in the country.
"In order to increase the FASTag penetration to ensure seamless movement of traffic and to reduce avoidable delays at the toll plazas, NHAI has decided to remove the mandatory threshold amount for the FASTag account/wallet, which was paid by the user in addition to the security deposit for the passenger segment (Car/Jeep/Van)," the NHAI said in a release.