A section of LPG consumers in Indore district are “too busy” to complete formalities for linking their bank accounts under the direct benefit transfer (DBT) scheme.
Three months after the deadline expired, about 10% LPG consumers in Indore district are yet to link their bank accounts for receiving the government sanctioned subsidy.
With the deadline for linking bank accounts having ended on April 1, about 75,000 LPG consumers in Indore district are likely to forego a subsidy of Rs 227 per cylinder, officials said.
“Most of these consumers belong to rich and upper-middle class category. When contacted over phone to either link bank account or opt out of subsidy, most said that they were too busy to fill up forms and it didn’t matter whether they got subsidy or not,” said Kapil Rai, district nodal officer for DBT scheme.
Thorough scrutiny of active customers has reduced the number of registered LPG consumers in Indore district from 8.20 lakh to 7.70 lakh. About 50,000 consumers are suspected of having multiple connections or using fictitious names.
“Most of the remaining customers who have not linked the bank account are eligible for the subsidy but don’t want to bother with completing the formalities,” Rai said.
Interestingly, only about 2,500 consumers in Indore district have officially opted out of subsidy by filling out the prescribed form.
The Union petroleum ministry has made the process to link the bank accounts more stringent recently, and it now takes 10-15 days to link the account as against three to four days before March 31.
Ever since the government announced its intentions to strictly implement the DBT scheme in November 2014, LPG dealers have had to deal with a rush of consumers thronging to link the connection with the earlier Aadhar-based direct transfer scheme of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.
The direct benefit transfer scheme, also known as PAHAL, is a government initiative to replace subsidised goods with electronic transfers of subsidy amounts to the beneficiaries’ bank accounts.
7.70 lakh: Total registered LPG connections
75,000: Connections not linked to bank account
Rs 700: Price of non-subsidised LPG cylinder
Rs 227: Subsidy transfer to bank (less VAT)