'¢ 20 districts chosen because of high AADHAAR penetration
'¢ More districts will be included soon
Starting today, the Congress-led UPA government has launched the Direct Benefits Transfer scheme for LPG in 20 different districts of India. These districts have been selected because of their high AADHAAR penetration.
In Karnataka, where the Congress recently won a comprehensive victory, the much-awaited DBT scheme, which aims to put the common man s money in his bank account without any meddling by middlemen, was formally launched today by Petroleum and Natural Gas minister, M. Virappa Moily at Tumkur district near Bangalore.
The subsidy on the LPG cylinders will go directly to the AADHAAR linked bank accounts of the consumers. Through this DBT scheme more than 67 lakh consumers will receive government subsidy directly to their bank accounts.
As soon as the consumer does a booking for his LPG cylinder, the subsidy amount will directly go to the AADHAAR linked bank account of the consumer. The consumer availing the subsidy on the first cylinder will automatically receive the subsidy for the next cylinder, which, can be used to buy cylinder at the market rate.
For the LPG consumers who do not have AADHAAR linked bank accounts will be given three months duration to do so. Until then, they will keep on receiving the prescribed 9 cylinders on government subsidised rates.
With the deadline for LPG subsidy expiring on 1st September, 2013, the LPG cylinders will be sold to the consumers at market rates after the said date. Only those consumers will receive the benefit of the subsidy who have got AADHAAR linked accounts with them. Rest will have to wait for their AADHAAR numbers before they can benefit from this system.
Through this DBT scheme, it can be ensured that the benefit of the subsidy reaches directly to the beneficiary. The grievance that mediators gobble up beneficiaries money will be completely wiped out through the mechanism of DBT.
The scheme of subsidy to the LPG consumers will reduce the subsidy burden on the Central Government funds from Rs1.61 lakh crores to Rs 97,000 crores. The state minster of Petroleum and Natural Gas Panabaka Lakshmi believes that through this DBT scheme, this burden will be reduced to a lesser extent.
Under this scheme, the subsidy amount of Rs.435 will directly reach to the account of the consumers as soon as he books his cylinder. The consumer will have to pay the market price for the booked cylinder, but that will not put any extra burden on the consumer, as the subsidy amount would already have been deposited into his account.
Apart from Karnataka, this scheme also got a start in the state of Andhra Pradesh. The Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Sri Kiran Kumar Reddy inaugurated this scheme at a ceremony held in Hyderabad. This also led to the start of the scheme of DBTL in 18 districts of the country.
While inaugurating this scheme, a senior Congress leader said that with the decline of irregularities in the use of domestic LPG cylinders, the use of commercial cylinders has risen significantly to 16 percent. Also, the easy availability of very cheap cylinders through KYC (Know Your Customer) scheme has reduced the misutilization of domestic LPG cylinders.
She also added that the DBT scheme will not only reduce the misutilization, but will also assist in reducing the burden on government exchequer. The Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh today also inaugurated this scheme in 5 more districts, which include Hyderabad, Rangareddy, Eastern Godavari, Chittur and Anantapuram.
The total number of LPG consumers is 48.82 lakhs in these districts. The districts where this scheme has been launched include Anantapur, Chittur, Eastern Godavari, Hyderabad and Rangareddi in Hyderabad, Div in Daman & Div, Northern Goa, Bilaspur, Hamirpur and Una in Himachal Pradesh, Tumkur in Karnataka, Pathanmathita and Vaynaad in Kerala, Wardha in Maharashtra, Puducherry, SBS Nagar Nawasheher in Punjab, and Eastern Nimaar 'Khandwa' and Harda district in Madhya Pradesh.