Govt launches modified direct benefit transfer of LPG scheme

The union government today launched a modified scheme for direct transfer of subsidy benefits to domestic users of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

The scheme, launched across 54 districts in the first phase, will be extended to rest of the country by 1 January 2015.

Originally the erstwhile United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government launched the DBTL scheme on 1 June 2013 at select cities including Puducherry and finally covered 291 districts.

The government has reviewed the scheme and after examining the difficulties faced by the consumer, made substantial modifications to it prior to launch.

Consumers who had joined the scheme earlier and had received cash subsidy in their bank accounts will automatically get the benefits without having to follow any further procedures. However, to confirm this, they should check their 'cash transfer compliant' (CTC) status on www.MyLPG.in, a government release said

The revised scheme has done away with the need to have an Aadhaar number to receive the benefit and consumers can receive cash directly in their bank account without producing the Aadhaar card. However, as and when they get the Aadhaar card, they may have to shift to Aadhaar-based cash transfer.

Consumers who are not cash transfer compliant will get a 3-month `Grace Period' during which they will receive the cylinders at subsidised rate. After the grace period, they will get an additional period of 3 month as `Parking Period.' During the parking period they will have to buy cylinders at the market rate. If the consumer joins the scheme within the Parking Period, the subsidy as per entitlement and consumption during parking period will be transferred to his bank account.

The permanent advance is paid in the bank account of consumers as soon as they make the first booking for a cylinder after joining the scheme, prior to delivery.

This advance ensures that LPG consumers have extra cash to pay for the first LPG cylinder at market price. The permanent advance will be notified for the consumers now joining the scheme separately.

In the 54 districts covering 11 states, the scheme will cover 23.3 million households. Currently, the Aadhaar generation level is 95 per cent in these districts. Consumers who have already given their Aadhaar number to the LPG distributor but not to the bank will have to link their Aadhaar number with their bank account immediately.

The remaining LPG consumers who have not given their Aadhaar number to LPG distributor or to banks must give their Aadhaar number to both.  If they don't have an Aadhaar number, they will have to give their bank account details to the gas distributor or in the alternative give their 17-digit LPG ID to their banks.

DBTL is designed to ensure that the benefit meant for the genuine domestic customer reaches them directly and is not diverted. DBTL also ensures that public money is saved.

The government has asked all LPG consumers to join the scheme immediately. 

As part of the improvements to the scheme, consumers will now receive SMS alerts at every stage of enrollment in the scheme.

To avail of this feature all LPG customers have to register their mobile number with their distributor if they have already not done so. They are also advised to receive cylinders only with cash memos to be assured of their cash transfer.