Delhi govt may roll-out cash payouts for kerosene subsidy

Last Updated: Sunday, May 29, 2011 - 13:05

New Delhi: Delhi may soon become the first
city in the country to dole out cash payouts instead of
subsidised kerosene to the BPL families, a move aimed at
controlling widespread pilferage of the fuel.

As per the proposal put forth by Chief Minister Sheila
Dikshit, cash equivalent of the monthly kerosene subsidy will
be directly transferred to the bank account of the female head
of the family.

A BPL family is likely to get around Rs 400 as monthly
cash payouts instead of subsidised kerosene if the proposal
originally mooted by the Planning Commission goes through.

The city government is currently holding discussions with
the Ministry of Oil and Natural Gas and a final decision on
the issue is expected next month.

Every BPL family in the city is entitled to get 22 litres
of kerosene per month at Rs 9 per litre against the market
rate of Rs 27 to Rs 30 per litre.

The subsidy component of kerosene comes to around Rs 18
per litre.

"Discussions are on with the Oil and Natural Gas Ministry
and we are expecting a final decision on the issue soon," a
top official of Delhi government said.

He said under the scheme, bank accounts of all four lakh
BPL families will be opened and cash component of the kerosene
will be transferred to the beneficiaries on monthly basis.

As per the proposal, the government will open bank accounts in
the name of the female head of the family as budget of the
kitchen is mostly taken care of by her.

Food and Civil Supplies Minister Harun Yusuf said despite
their persistent efforts, the department has not been able to
stop diversion of kerosene meant for distribution under the
PDS system.

"There are loopholes in the PDS system. The kerosene meant
for the BPL families at times does not reach the
beneficiaries. That is why we are trying to evolve a mechanism
under which poor families get their dues," he said.

According to a study by the National Council of Applied
Economic Research, nearly half of the kerosene supplied
through PDS in Delhi found its way to black market.

State-run oil companies are losing around Rs 28 a litre of
kerosene for selling it below the imported cost.

As part of its efforts to streamline the PDS system, the
city government had last year started the process of issuing
bio-metric BPL cards.

The government had also found at least 18,000 bogus ration
cards in the national capital last year.

While presenting the Union Budget, Finance
Minister Pranab Mukherjee earlier this year had said the
government would move towards direct transfer of cash subsidy
in a phased manner.

A task force headed by UIDAI chairman Nandan Nilekani is
working out the modalities for the proposed system of direct
transfer of subsidy for kerosene, LPG and fertilisers.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, May 29, 2011 - 13:05

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