Chidambaram asks bankers to brace up for rollout of LPG subsidy

“I have asked them to get ready for the rollout of LPG for the whole country,” he said after a meeting with officials of state owned banks.

Written by ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi | Published: April 13, 2013 2:26 am

Finance minister P Chidambaram on Friday asked public sector lenders to gear up for the proposed roll out of direct cash subsidy for cooking gas across the country as well as gear up for the second phase of the direct benefit transfer scheme that will start from July.

“I have asked them to get ready for the rollout of LPG for the whole country,” he said after a meeting with officials of state owned banks.

The government plans to run a pilot project from May 15 in 20 districts for including cooking gas subsidy as a part of its Direct Benefit Transfer scheme. Earlier,the finance ministry had also sent out a circular that beneficiaries for LPG subsidy would have to come to banks for seeding of Aadhaar number to their bank accounts.

At present,there are about 14 crore beneficiaries of subsidised LPG cylinders who would get about

Rs 4,000 per annum in in cash from the government,and they will have to then buy LPG at market price. The subsidy would however be available only for nine cylinders a year.

Regarding the second phase of DBT scheme to be launched in 78 districts,Chidambaram said,“They (bankers) have all said that they will be ready in the 78 districts.” The Planning Commission would be holding meetings with the 78 district collectors. “We have said the lead bank managers of 78 districts will also attend the meeting,” the finance minister said.

The finance ministry has set a deadline of May 15 for public sector lenders to set up proper banking infrastructure in these districts. Further,they have also been directed to set up ATMs and issue debit cards to all beneficiaries.

‘Goal of greater tax revenue to be realised’

Finance minister P Chidambaram on Friday expressed the hope that twin objectives of improving tax -payer services and collecting more revenue would be achieved.

“The twin objectives of improving tax-payer services and collecting more revenue would be successfully achieved,” a finance ministry statement said quoting Chidambaram.

He was addressing the first meeting of the reconstituted Central Direct Taxes Advisory Committee here.

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