Panel moots re-launch of LPG direct benefit transfer scheme

A committee appointed to review the direct benefit transfer scheme for subsidies on domestic LPG connections has suggested that the scheme can be re-launched in the same districts provided they meet the prescribed requirements of UID number, LPG connections and bank accounts.

The committee headed by former director of IIT Kanpur S G Dhande has suggested re-launch of the direct benefit transfer scheme for subsidies on domestic LPG connections.

''Re-launch direct benefit transfer for LPG immediately in the districts where it has already been implemented…,'' an expert committee set up to review the functioning of the scheme has said.

Based on an evaluation of the scheme and feedback received from the various stakeholders and audit reports, the report said the scheme was successful in achieving its objectives like reducing diversion, eliminating ghost/duplicate connections and improving LPG availability.

''The scheme promotes enhanced financial inclusion…. the committee strongly recommends that the DBTL scheme should be re-instated,'' the panel said.

However, the committee suggested putting in place a centralised grievances redressel mechanism for better implementation of the scheme. The committee also proposed that the last mile access to banking should be improved for smooth implementation of the scheme.

The scheme was rolled from 1 June 2013 in 291 districts in phases. Till 7 March, about Rs5,400 crore was transferred to more than 28 million LPG consumers across the country.

The Aadhaar-linked scheme, however, had to be put on hold from 7 March  following complaints from consumers that either they didn't have the Aadhaar number or have problems in seeding their accounts with the sponsor banks.