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Talks With IMF To Lower Natural Gas Price, The New President in Ukraine Takes Charge

The government raised gas prices by nearly a quarter in October, allowing it to secure a new $3.9 billion stand-by aid agreement with the IMF.

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Ukrainian President-elect Volodymyr Zelens
Ukrainian President-elect Volodymyr Zelens. RFERL

Ukrainian President-elect Volodymyr Zelenskiy has called on the country’s government and the state energy firm Naftogaz Ukrainy to hold talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in order to lower the household price for natural gas from May 1.

The IMF, which is helping Ukraine with a multibillion-dollar loan program, has said it wants to see Ukraine set natural gas prices at their market level.

But Zelenskiy, who has yet to take office but won a landslide election victory on April 21, said in a statement on April 24 that he wants prices to be lower.

“Let’s not just in words, but in deeds show that we can take decisions in people’s interests,” the statement on the Zelenskiy team’s Facebook page said.

“For the past four months, gas prices in Europe have been decreasing and now the price of gas for the population in Ukraine is higher than the price of gas on the European market,” it said.

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“Let’s not just in words, but in deeds show that we can take decisions in people’s interests,” the statement on the Zelenskiy team’s Facebook page said. Pixabay

The statement warned that neighboring Russia could limit energy supplies to Ukraine from June 1, and that Moscow may take steps to halt gas transit through Ukraine altogether at the start of 2020 — a move it said would result in significant financial losses and gas supply risks.

“These challenges require us to take effective and fast action,” the statement said.

An IMF spokesman was not immediately available to comment.

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The IMF, which is helping Ukraine with a multibillion-dollar loan program, has said it wants to see Ukraine set natural gas prices at their market level. Pixabay

Prime Minister Volodymyr Hroysman said in March that he would urge Ukraine’s Finance Ministry and Naftogaz to start talks with the IMF to try to prevent any future rise in gas tariffs.

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The government raised gas prices by nearly a quarter in October, allowing it to secure a new $3.9 billion stand-by aid agreement with the IMF.

Gas prices were due to rise by 15 percent again from May 1. But earlier this week the government and Naftogaz agreed to a slight decrease in tariffs. (RFERL)

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Digital Payments Platform PhonePe Unveils “PhonePe ATM” Facility With Unique Feature

The PhonePe ATM allows customers to withdraw cash without any hassle through trusted merchant partners

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A customer in need of cash can simply open the PhonePe app, go to the 'Stores' tab and click on the 'PhonePe ATM' icon to locate nearby shops offering this facility. wikimedia Commons

Digital payments platform PhonePe on Thursday launched a unique feature called ‘PhonePe ATM’ on its platform that will help users in need of cash can get instant money from merchants offering this facility.

A customer in need of cash can simply open the PhonePe app, go to the ‘Stores’ tab and click on the ‘PhonePe ATM’ icon to locate nearby shops offering this facility.

Currently, a user can avail Rs 1,000 a day from the merchant via this pilot feature, launched in the Delhi-NCR region to begin with.

Go to the shop, click on the ‘Withdraw’ button and transfer the required amount to the merchant via the PhonePe app. Once the amount is transferred, the merchant will give the customer the cash equal to the amount transferred, the company said in a statement.

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Digital payments platform PhonePe on Thursday launched a unique feature called ‘PhonePe ATM’ on its platform that will help users in need of cash can get instant money from merchants offering this facility. Pixabay

“The PhonePe ATM allows customers to withdraw cash without any hassle through our trusted merchant partners. It also helps merchants avoid the hassle of storing cash and making multiple trips to the bank branch to deposit their extra cash,” said Vivek Lohcheb, Head of Offline Business Development, PhonePe.

There will not be any charge for customers or merchants for availing this service. The withdrawal limit for customers will be the same as the limit set by their respective banks.

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The move will enable neighbourhood stores to act as ATMs for the customers who cannot locate bank ATMs or reach an ATM out of cash. (IANS)