The Ministry of Oil and Petroleum has scrapped the ambitious Direct Benefit Transfer system for LPG subsidy with effect from March 10. A communique regarding this has been sent by the ministry to oil companies and gas agencies a few days ago. Residents will now get their 12 cylinders till the end of March and get the benefit of 12 subsidised cylinders from April 1 onwards.
“While the ministry had earlier withheld it, we have been told that the system has now been scrapped. We do not have to be bothered about the linkage any more. From April 1, residents can avail subsidy on 12 cylinders but will have to pay the non-subsidised rate for the 13th and thereon,” said an oil company representative.
Gas agencies, meanwhile, will have to delete the programme from their system. “For the last two to three months, we had been after people to meet the deadline and link their Aadhaar ID with bank accounts to avail of the subsidy. Now, with this announcement, no amount needs to be transferred to banks. We are making sure that the pending cases are cleared by the government and such complaints are addressed,” said a gas agency representative.
While the deadline was extended twice, the Union cabinet had last month said the DBT would be on hold, besides declaring that it would increase the cap on LPG cylinders from nine to 12.
“The linkage had created huge confusion and many residents did not have their Aadhaar ID yet,” said a dealer.
Even as a written notification is awaited, the 400-odd agencies have been told that the residents will get 12 subsidised cylinders for this year ending March 31.
With just 22 per cent consumers in Pune linking their Aadhaar number with bank accounts for LPG subsidy yet, the the remaining 78 per cent were hoping for yet another extension of the deadline, while the oil companies were firm on charging the market price from them. “We are relieved with this announcement and we have to no longer bother about the linkage,” said V R Rao, a resident of Ghorpadi who is yet to get his Aadhaar card.
According to officials, the district had recorded 38.8 per cent Aadhaar enrollment, while the linkage to bank accounts was just 22 per cent. Of the total 23.68 lakh customers, only 9.18 lakh had Aadhaar numbers, while only 5.28 lakh of them had till now linked the numbers to bank accounts for the subsidy transfer.