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Pune smarter in getting unique card for LPG consumers

Even as the entire country awaits the launch of the Unique Identity Project of the Government of India headed by Nandan Nilekani...

Written by Sunanda Mehta | Pune |
July 21, 2009 3:50:55 am

Even as the entire country awaits the launch of the Unique Identity Project of the Government of India headed by Nandan Nilekani,Pune is set to get a taste of something of a precursor to the ambitious scheme. The Ministry of Petroleum has decided to issue smart cards based on the Unique Identity Number concept to consumers of PDS kerosene and domestic LPG in the country.

The pilot project will be launched in Pune and the smart cards will be ready in a year’s time,confirmed the ministry officials. The experience and information garnered during the exercise will be shared with the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) for further use.

“We are looking at starting the pilot project in Pune and in a couple of cities in the south and may be a few villages,too. But as of now,Pune is definitely confirmed for the pilot project,” said S Sundaresham,additional secretary,Ministry of Petroleum. Work on the smart card project has begun and the process of releasing the tenders is being finalised. It would take about a year for the smart cards to become a reality.

According to Sundaresham,the smart cards will work like the unique identification cards and would form an important database for the UID project. “The idea is to give a card to every LPG user in the country on the basis of which they can obtain subsidised kerosene or LPG. It will restrict malpractices and unfair means adopted by people to obtain kerosene or LPG. The process will give us a precious data base given the fact that the users cover a large portion of the country’s population,” said Sundaresham.

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According to reports,Nilankeni had called on Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Murli Deora even before he assumed office formally and asked the ministry to tap the massive data base of oil and cooking gas consumers,numbering almost 10 crore.

Pune was chosen for the launch of the pilot project as it is a representative city and because of the response and support of the state government to the project,said Sundaresham. “Almost all new ventures of the petroleum industry have somehow been tested in Pune – probably because it is the largest city in Maharashtra that is closest to Mumbai. Even their earlier scheme cash-and-carry for LPG was tested in Pune,” said Vijay Bhave,president,LPG Distributors Association,Pune.

He said Pune has an oil and gas consumer base of about 12 lakh. “The scheme will definitely help to curb the malpractices in this business; the government must make it compulsory for every consumer to carry this smart card at the time of taking delivery of kerosene or gas,” he added.

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