LPG customers, yet to enroll in Aadhar, may have to hurry up as the government is on an overdrive to route the cooking gas subsidy through direct benefits transfer (DBT). Government brass is also reluctant to relax deadlines for rolling out uniformly priced LPG cylinders in the market.
Initially slated for 146 districts in FY2013-14, finance minister P Chidambaram announced last week that it would roll out in 269 districts (including Delhi) by January 1, 2014.
Currently, customers get up to 9 subsidised cylinders from cooking gas companies. Under DBT, they will get cylinders at market price. The subsidy gets transferred in their bank accounts.
The minutes of a high-level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said, “There should be no postponement of the switchover to a single price system for LPG sales.” If dates are postponed, consumers will be sure of further postponement and there will be no sense of urgency to the LPG- DBT programme.”
In the first phase of LPG DBT in 20 districts, 16.6 lakh subscribers benefitted and the Centre transferred R131 crore through DBT.