New Delhi: Over five million transactions have taken place and over Rs 200 crore has been transferred to 2.3 million consumers under the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme for LPG consumers which is existing in 20 districts, and the total coverage is expected to be 289 districts by January 1, 2014.
Many consumers have received the subsidy more than once, based on the number of LPG cylinders they have purchased.
Once DBT-LPG is rolled out across the 289 districts, it is expected cover over 7 crore consumers with a likely subsidy of over Rs 27,000 crores per annum at the rate of Rs 435 per cylinder for nine subsidised LPG cylinders annually and this makes it one of the largest cash transfer programmes in the world.
There would be a switchover period of three months in all new districts during which LPG cylinders will continue to be sold at two prices, a subsidised price for those without Aadhaar linked bank accounts and a market price for those receiving DBT into their accounts.
At the end of the three-month period, LPG cylinders will be sold at a single price with dealers.
Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on August 29 said: "The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has decided to extend the scheme in 34 districts in September, 44 in October, 46 in November, 40 in
December and 105 in January next year. This will take the total number of districts to 269 as the scheme is already existing in 20 districts."
"It's already successful in the 20 districts, and I think we can make it an equal success in the remaining 269 districts in which we plan to roll out before the end of the current calendar year,' he added.
He also said that banks have been asked to focus on the opening of bank accounts of beneficiaries and linking them to AADHAAR.
Chidambaram further said that around half of the country would be covered in terms of districts under the scheme.
First Published: Monday, September 2, 2013, 23:45