Jharkhand govt’s petrol subsidy scheme fails to attract consumers: Data - Hindustan Times
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Jharkhand govt’s petrol subsidy scheme fails to attract consumers: Data

ByRaj Kumar, Ranchi
Nov 04, 2023 10:02 PM IST

State food civil minister Rameshwar Oraon, also the finance minister, admitted the scheme’s failure, saying, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.”

The Jharkhand government scheme aiming to provide consumers with a subsidy of 25 per litre on petrol, up to 19 litres per month through direct benefit transfer (DBT) in the state, has failed to attract its beneficiaries as not even 10 per cent of the eligible people have availed the scheme until October this year, officials in the food and civil supply department said on Saturday.

Jharkhand government scheme aiming to provide consumers with a subsidy of <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>25 per litre on petrol failed to attract beneficiaries (Agencies File)
Jharkhand government scheme aiming to provide consumers with a subsidy of 25 per litre on petrol failed to attract beneficiaries (Agencies File)

“Since January 26, 2022, when the scheme was launched, until October 31 this year, as many as 229,032 people applied for the benefit. Out of the total applications, 179,343 applications were approved, and payment for 178,975 was initiated,” the department official said.

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“Out of the total beneficiaries, 61,473 received benefits between April 1 and October 31, 2023,” the official added.

An official from the department in Ranchi supported the figure, saying, “At the beginning in Ranchi, 18,226 beneficiaries had taken advantage, but by August 2023, the number had reduced to 3,449.”

State food civil minister Rameshwar Oraon, also the finance minister, admitted the scheme’s failure, saying, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.”

When asked about the reasons behind the failure, he mentioned misconceptions and a lack of vehicle ownership and driving licences.

“To benefit from the scheme, one should have a ration card with the Aadhar number of each member mentioned in the card, an Aadhar-linked bank account, vehicle registration papers, and a driving license in the name of the applicant. A misconception spread that those who would take subsidized petrol would not receive subsidised food grain, as vehicle owners are not supposed to get subsidised food grain. It was observed that many did not have vehicles registered in their names, and many did not have driving licenses,” Oraon said.

“I personally told many to take advantage, but some said they had purchased a second-hand vehicle and did not have vehicle papers in their names, and many said they do not have a driving license, and obtaining one is difficult in the state. The issuance of a driving license is a time-consuming process. I also told transport department officials to launch a drive for the issuance of driving licenses, but it has not been materialised so far,” the minister added.

A food and civil supply department official added, “As many as two million people are expected to benefit from the scheme for which the government has provided 50 crore per month. This has not been achieved so far.”

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