Farhim Bano and Urmashi Devi’s common grouse of not having received Aadhaar number for a year has put them in danger of losing Rs. 3,000 -- yearly subsidy for six cooking gas cylinders.
The government from New Year has decided to make Aadhaar number mandatory for transfer of subsidy amount into the bank account of a LPG gas cylinder subscriber of oil companies in 43 pilot districts. It comes three months after the oil companies obtained bank account numbers of all its customers through new know your customer (KYC) regime.
A senior government official told HT that the shift from bank account to Aadhaar number was a step to put the cooking gas subsidy regime on unique identification of Aadhaar payment-bridge, which the government has introduced on pilot basis in 20 districts from January 1 for seven central government schemes.
Once the new system comes into force, the entire subsidy would be transferred into the Aadhaar linked bank account, whose information the oil companies have already collected. “It will help us (the government) to keep a check on subsidy,” the official said.
Bano and Devi, who does not understand the fiscal nitty gritty of new regime, are on a look-out for their Aadhaar number.
“I enrolled a year ago and haven’t received Aadhaar number,” she said, outside an Indian Oil gas dealer at Badli in north Delhi, wondering how she can get the most important number for her.
Like many other migrant labourers, including Devi, she had changed her home since Aadhaar enrolment and does not know whether she can get the number now or not. She was instructed by the gas dealer to visit an Aadhaar enrollment centre in Samaipur flocked many people having grievance similar to her.
The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has enrolled about 300 million people but has dispatched Aadhaar to less than half of them. Most of those enrolled for Aadhaar number Home Ministry’s national population register six months ago are yet to receive their numbers.
The only reprieve is that the new regime of transferring subsidy directly into bank accounts would be applicable from new financial year --- April onwards --- and by them the consumers can submit their Aadhaar numbers.
“Cash transfers will start with Aadhaar number and mostly likely in 43 pilot districts first,” an official said. Currently, the price of a subsidised LPG cylinder in Delhi is Rs. 410.42, against the market price of Rs. 895.50.