Buyers give thumbs up to LPG subsidy scheme

  • Saubhadra Chatterji, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jan 10, 2015 01:15 IST

In an indication that the direct benefits transfer for LPG (DBTL) scheme is fast gaining popularity, the Centre has distributed nearly Rs 1,000 crore in one-and-a-half month.

The sharp rise in enrolment of LPG customers, with a whopping 3.78 crore of them joining the DBTL (or PAHAL) between November 15, 2014 and January 5 this year has brought almost 50% of the country’s LPG consumers under the scheme.

Now, the government has set a target of enrolling at least 75% of 15.24 crore LPG consumers by the end of February.

The Aadhar-linked subsidy scheme got a fresh lease of life after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and finance minister Arun Jaitley, met former Unique Identification Authority chief Nandan Nilekani July last year. Nilekani convinced the NDA top brass not to abandon the UPA’s flagship scheme.

The PMO is believed to have held a review meeting of PAHAL and chalk out the future road-map. The direct subsidy transfer scheme is currently available for both Aadhar number holders as well as for consumers who are yet to be enrolled in Aadhar.

The latest figures show that the NDA’s records in disbursement of subsidies and enrolment have been much better than the UPA. In the first nine months, the DBTL could cover 2.19 crore consumers and disburse Rs 222 crore in subsidies. The NDA government has been able to transfer Rs 994 crore through 2.78 crore transactions since November 15, 2014 — in just one and a half months.

The government’s review claimed that out of 21,925 complaints, 16,067 had been addressed.

The progress in the Centre’s most ambitious Aadhar-based subsidy transfer scheme is monitored frequently. Petroleum ministry officials have also started to adopt districts to further speed up its implementation. Varanasi district, which contains PM’s Lok Sabha constituency, has been adopted by the petroleum secretary.

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