More than 17 lakh residents of the district are likely to be deprived of getting domestic LPG at subsidised rate. According to officials of oil companies, of about 24 lakh people in the district with LPG connections in their name, so far only seven lakh have linked their Aadhaar numbers with their bank accounts. With the January 31 deadline fast approaching, it is likely that the rest will have to shell out money from their own pockets for purchasing every single gas cylinder.
Each consumer is eligible for nine LPG cylinders at subsidsed rates between April and March. Under the scheme, LPG users will have to buy the refills at market price and the difference between subsidised price and market price will be transferred to their bank accounts. The Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas had issued a press release last month about the Direct Benefit Transfer for LPG (DBTL) scheme “At the end of grace period of each phase [of DBTL roll-out], LPG cylinders will be sold to all domestic LPG consumers at market price,” it had said.
The ministry had also sent out a notification on November 1, stating that DBTL for LPG would roll out in Pune district and tenure of three months was given to complete the Aadhaar-bank account linking work. However, the district administration has confirmed that so far it hasn’t got any notification from the petroleum ministry for grace period to complete the process.
“So far, I haven’t received any notice regarding extension of the period for finishing the remaining linkage work, and I am worried for the citizens whose Aadhaar numbers are not yet linked to their bank accounts,” said district collector Vikas Deshmukh. Meanwhile, regional manager of Bharat Petroleum Mahesh Jangam said that out of 11.84 lakh customers, only four lakh have so far completed the due process.
“Given what we have seen in other places, the government is expected to extend the deadline, as seeding of Aadhaar is very low. However, we haven’t got any such directives from the government,” he said.
The lowest response has been seen from customers of Hindustan Petroleum, where only 2.27 lakh of the 10.23 lakh clients have linked their Aadhaar numbers with their bank accounts. Also, only 31,000 customers of the total 1.73 lakh at Indian Oil have displayed interest in linking their Aadhaar numbers with their banks, informed sales manager of Indian Oil, Nanda Dalvi.
24 Lakh: Approx number of people in the entire district with LPG connections in their name