Srinagar, Publish Date: Feb 9 2016 12:40AM |

In violation of the Supreme Court directions, Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) in Kashmir have issued ‘diktat’ to LPG consumers asking them to register Aadhaar details with respective dealers or else their subsidies would be stopped.

The Supreme Court of India in a latest judgement ruled that linking of Aadhaar for providing these services will only be on “voluntary basis and no person shall be deprived of any benefit for want of Aadhar”.
However, in clear violation of these directions, the oil marketing companies have asked the consumers to register their Aadhar details with respective LPG dealerships before February 29 for availing LPG subsidy.
An advertisement by HPCL here reads: “All LPG consumers of Jammu and Kashmir are requested to convert from Bank Transfer Compliant to Aadhar Transfer Compliant before 29 February.
The OMC order has come as a rude shock to the consumers in Kashmir who are yet to get Aadhar cards particularly in Srinagar district where only 30 per cent people have received Aadhar cards.
“This means all domestic LPG consumers who are availing subsidy without seeding their Aadhar card in LPG database and without linking their Aadhar details to their bank details, have to furnish Aadhar details to their LPG distributor and bank at the earliest,” the advertisement by the HPCL reads.
“Majority of LPG consumers are yet to submit their Aadhar card number but have linked their bank account with the LPG consumer number and continue to receive LPG subsidy in their bank accounts through Bank Transfer Compliant mode. In order to continue receiving LPG subsidy, such consumers will now have to submit the Aadhar card details with their LPG distributor and also link the Aadhar card with their bank accounts,” it states.
Meanwhile, the move has evoked sharp criticism from the consumers in the Kashmir Valley who accuse the OMCs of hoodwinking people of the state.
Scores of consumers told Greater Kashmir that they have yet to receive the Aadhar card. “What will we submit when we have yet to receive the Aadhar card? It is highly unreasonable on the part of the oil companies to press for the Aadhar cards when they obviously know that majority of people in Kashmir, particularly in Srinagar have not received the Aadhar cards as yet. This is clearly a ploy to deprive us from the subsidy,”  they said.
“I am yet to get Aadhar card, what will I submit. It is a joke on part of the government as well as OMCs who are just harassing people on one pretext or the other,” said Abid Hussain, a Srinagar resident.
The consumers are evoking Supreme Court direction stating that why the OMCs are not keeping the submission of Aadhar details as “voluntarily instead of mandatory”.
“I have not opted for the Aadhar as I feel it intrudes my privacy but why it is made mandatory for availing benefits though the SC direction is against it, “said Javid Ahmad, a local resident.
Talking to Greater Kashmir, Deputy Manager Sales, HPCL, Zubair Banday said that they are following the guidelines of Union Oil Ministry.
“Union Oil Ministry has asked all the oil marketing companies to route LPG subsidy through Aadhar Transfer compliant,” he said adding they are following their guidelines.
When asked that majority of people in Kashmir are without Aadhar cards, he said that those who don’t have Aadhar cards can submit undertaking at their respective dealerships to continue subsidy till they get the Aadhar.