New Delhi: Within weeks of its launch, the ambitious direct benefit transfer programme for cooking gas (LPG) crossed a million transactions mark with Rs 41 crore of subsidy given to consumers directly.
"The Direct Benefit Transfer for LPG (DBTL) scheme, launched in 18 districts on June 1, has thus far been a great success with more than 1 million (10 lakh) direct cash transfers to consumers' bank accounts," an official statement said here.
A sum of Rs 41 crore has been transferred in the hands of LPG Consumers in these districts.
Government launched DBTL scheme in 18 high Aadhaar coverage districts benefitting 67 lakh consumers.
"The scheme aims to curb leakages and prevent black- marketing and provide subsidy to consumers in their bank accounts. In these 18 districts the subsidy on LPG cylinders is being provided directly to consumers in their Aadhaar linked bank accounts," it said.
Under the scheme launched on June 1, LPG consumers get Rs 435 in their bank accounts when they book an LPG cylinder. They are then expected to use this cash subsidy to buy a LPG refill at market price which is roughly the double of Rs 410 per 14.2-kg subsidised rate in Delhi.
The scheme was to be rolled out in 20 districts initially but the launch in Mysore in Karnataka and Mandi in Himachal Pradesh has been put off by a month due to assembly and Parliamentary bypolls there, the official said.
The government intends to extend the scheme to rest of the country before the end of the year but wants to see results in the 20 districts first. The districts selected have high Aadhaar or unique identification number penetration.
While as many as 89 percent of the LPG consuming population in these districts have Aadhaar number, government will give a three-month grace period to them to procure the UID number and seed it with their bank accounts where cash subsidy has to be transferred.
"After the end of grace period ie with effect from September 1, LPG cylinders will be sold to all domestic LPG consumers at market price. However, the subsidy will be transferred to only those who have linked Aadhaar number to LPG consumer number and Bank account and others will not get any subsidy," the statement said.
The government anticipates a saving of Rs 8,000-10,000 crore in LPG subsidy annually after the scheme is rolled out all over the country.
Currently, consumers are entitled to nine 14.2-kg LPG cylinders at subsidised rates in a year from the dealers. Many of these are black-marketed to unintended users like commercial establishments who otherwise have to buy the fuel at market price.