Onus on consumers to get Aadhar IDs for subsidised gas: Moily

Following a government announcement on Wednesday that cooking gas subsidies will be directly provided to eligible Aadhar ID number holders in parts of the country, LPG consumers in 20 districts would now have to obtain an Aadhar number and seed it with their bank accounts to get nine subsidised cylinders a year.

This would have to be done by consumers within three months from 1 June, after which they would lose their entitlement for subsidy, petroleum minister M Veerappa Moily told newspersons in New Delhi today.

He said all LPG consumers would get a cash advance in their bank account as soon as they book the first subsidised gas cylinder.

As soon as the first cylinder is delivered to such consumers, subsidy eligible on date of delivery will again get credited in the bank account, which will then be available for the purchase of the next cylinder at market rates.

The launch of DBT in LPG is the biggest programme under the government policy of direct credit of subsidy. There are 14 crore LPG consumers in the country, which adds up to 60 per cent of the population.  ''So the first step is a small one,'' said Vivek Rae, secretary, ministry of petroleum and natural gas.

''If you want LPG subsidy then Aadhar is compulsory,'' Rae said.

The 20 districts in the pilot scheme include five in Andhra Pradesh, four in Himachal Pradesh, two each in Karnataka, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh, and one each in Dam and Diu, Goa, Maharashtra, Pondicheery and Punjab.

An assessment would be done after a month. ''We will review the scheme and then extend to other districts,'' Moily said. Once implemented, the government will transfer close to Rs4,000 to every household annually to enable people to buy nine cylinders of LPG at the current market price.

Currently, state-owned oil firms sell domestic cooking gas at a highly subsidised rate of Rs410.50 per 14.2-kg cylinder. Consumers are entitled to get nine cylinders at the subsidised rate in a year. Each consumer will get a little less than Rs4,000 annually, but will have to buy LPG at market price.

A fourth of the LPG subsidy would be released by the ministry of finance every quarter to oil marketing companies, which will be responsible for crediting it into the account of LPG consumers.