Even as the three-month grace period to enroll for the direct benefit scheme for LPG subsidy ends on Sunday, less than 50% of consumers in Faridkot have come registered under the scheme.
"There are 1.10 lakh LPG consumers in Faridkot. Less than 45% of them have come forward to get their aadhaar cards linked with their bank accounts so that the subsidy could be transferred directly into their accounts," said Faridkot district food and supply controller Jaspreet Singh Kahlon.
On the possible reasons for the poor response, he said: "There was good response initially, but later people did not come forward due to a case regarding the aadhaar cards in the apex court. Others claim not to have received the aadhaar card."
"A kitchen gas cylinder costs around Rs. 434, which is not the market price. Once the scheme is implemented, they have to pay market price, which is now around Rs. 1,012. The subsidy will be transferred to the account of the account of the consumer directly," said Sunil Jain, president of LPG Dealers Association, Faridkot.
"The grace period has again been extended for six months," Jain claimed.
However, the DFSC claimed: "We are yet to get any official instructions on any extension."
Consumers might have to shell Rs. 25 extra per cylinder as VAT or sale tax, which is not paid by them now, once the scheme is implemented in totality.
"Government schemes end up confusing most of the poor people. Most of are facing problems as some have not yet aadhhar cards and some do not have bank accounts. This is harassment. Different kinds of schemes launched by the state and centre leave the poor and illiterate in the lurch," said Darshan Singh, former sarpanch of Dhilwan Kalan village.
"The enrolment for aadhhar cards in the district was nearly complete as 5.28 lakh people had been covered till about a month ago," said Padam Maini. He had worked with manager for the company issuing the cards till October 25.
WHAT IS THE SCHEME?
The direct benefit transfer of LPG (DBTL) requires consumers to link their bank accounts with aadhaar cards and furnish copies of this card, along with bank account numbers to their gas provider/distributor, so that the subsidy can be directly transferred into the accounts of the LPG consumers.