Consumers and dealers are a confused lot, thanks to lack of clarity on subsidy rates and Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT)

Consumers are likely to get only 11 LPG cylinders - one each in February and March - under this year’s quota, although the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs raised the annual quota of domestic LPG cylinders from nine to 12.

The 12-cylinder quota will be applicable from April 1, 2014 to March 31, 2015 - one a month at subsidised rates. In case nine subsidised cylinders have already been issued, consumers are entitled for two more in February and March.

But, if the 11 subsided cylinders have already been used, there is no clarity if the additional two cylinders will be issued in the following two months, according to a senior official from Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited. He added that clear instructions were yet to come from the authorities.

The delay in giving clear instructions to the respective dealers in the capital on subsidy rates and Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) has led to confusion among consumers and dealers.

“I booked a cylinder last week, but I am yet to get one. Will I get it under subsidy, or should I pay the previous price of Rs. 412.50. Even dealers are clueless, and they say there is no clarity in the matter,” said E. Navneet, a BPCL consumer.

Prior to the announcement of the DBT scheme, consumers were paying Rs. 1,327 per cylinder, and a subsidy of Rs. 837 was being transferred to their respective bank accounts. Though the companies were insisting on linking Aadhaar numbers with bank accounts, several consumers did not link their accounts.

“Now, we are confused whether to issue a cylinder to such consumers at the previous price of Rs. 412.50 or the non-subsidy price of Rs. 1,327. Company authorities say it may take another week to clear all these issues,” said a BPCL dealer.

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