The Union Cabinet on Saturday has decided that no consumer would be denied LPG subsidy under the Direct Benefit Transfer Scheme for want of an Aadhaar number, a key hurdle faced by consumers.
The scheme with this and other modifications will be relaunched in 54 districts from mid-November and in the rest of the country from January 1, 2015.
The government had revisited the design and processes of the scheme, which was launched by the UPA regime, and after a thorough review, the Modified Direct Benefit Transfer Scheme for LPG or DBTL, which is aimed at addressing the hardships faced by consumers in its earlier version, has been approved.
Under the new scheme, the subsidy per domestic subsidised cylinder will be fixed and all LPG consumers who join the Modified DBTL scheme in future will be able to receive LPG cash subsidy — either by linking Aadhaar number to the LPG account and bank database as the primary option or directly into the bank account without necessarily linking it with Aadhaar.
The government also said that all LPG consumers who had already joined the scheme solely based on Aadhaar number will start getting subsidy in their Aadhaar-linked bank accounts after scheme is launched.
In addition, there will be a grace period during which consumers who have not joined the DBTL scheme will continue to get LPG cylinders at the subsidised price.
If the consumer does not enrol for the scheme even after the three-month grace period, they would be eligible for an additional ‘Subsidy Parking Period’ lasting three months.
During this period, LPG cylinders to all such consumers will be supplied at market price, but the subsidy amount due on all LPG cylinders would be credited to the bank account as per the entitlement as soon as the consumer enrols for the DBTL scheme within this time frame, the government said.
The LPG consumers who will now join the modified scheme in future will get a permanent advance towards the purchase of the first market priced cylinder equal to the fixed subsidy per cylinder.
A revamped grievance redressal mechanism to attend to consumer grievances will be put in place.