The nearly 22 lakh domestic gas consumers in the city and elsewhere are caught between the proverbial devil and deep sea. Despite relief from the Supreme Court ruling that Aadhaar should not be linked to domestic gas subsidy, LPG agencies continue to collect card data from consumers. Those who have submitted Aadhaar are not happy as subsidy amounts are not being deposited to their bank accounts.
What has angered consumers most is the lack of official attempt to clear the confusion surrounding the apex court verdict de-linking Aadhaar with government subsidy.
At present, most households pay over Rs. 1,000 for a cylinder without availing the direct transfer of the subsidy amount to their banks.
“Why can’t they implement the SC order? The gas agency does not provide us any information. I have begun rejecting the cylinder because they are not remitting the subsidy to my bank account,” says a livid B. Vijaya, a housewife from Mallapur.
Consumers also complain that implementing agencies including banks, gas agencies and oil companies have let them down.
“We have given our Aadhaar card numbers but the bank officials have not done their job properly. When Supreme Court said that there was no need for Aadhaar card, why are authorities still insisting on it? ” wonders Mettuguda resident Rakesh Rao.
Officials say the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoPNG) has approached the Supreme Court again, seeking to make Aadhaar mandatory for subsidies.
“We know there are problems in remitting subsidies to bank accounts and we are trying to address them. We are also awaiting the final SC hearing on this issue,” says LPG Gas Co-ordinator, Hyderabad, Madhukar Ingole.
At present, only 58 per cent of domestic consumers have submitted their Aadhaar numbers to the banks. The authorities had held a series of meetings with the State Level Bankers Committee (SLBC) to discuss the slow pace of linking bank accounts with Aadhaar.
“We have requested bankers to hasten the process of repayment to customers. Lot of work is yet to be done on this front,” Mr. Ingole says.