DC distances herself from the official statement though undersigned by her

In what appears to run contrary to the Supreme Court ruling on Aadhaar, the Dakshina Kannada administration said in a statement that those who do not link Aadhaar to their gas agency and bank account will not get LPG subsidy from April 1.

Though the statement attributed it to in-charge Deputy Commissioner and Dakshina Kannada Zilla Panchayat Chief Executive Officer Thulasi Maddineni, she distanced herself from the statement when contacted by The Hindu.

She said in a meeting where she reviewed the progress (of Aadhaar-related issues on Monday), representatives of oil companies talked about depriving subsidy to consumers who failed to link their Aadhaar to LPG connections by April 1.

Ms. Maddineni, who initially said Aadhaar was not compulsory but voluntary to avail subsidy, later said, “I am nobody to say anything about it. I am not the one who gives subsidy. It is the oil companies that give subsidy.”

However, she said that she had neither seen the official statement issued nor had she signed it.

The statement was issued to all the media houses by the Information Department quoting her as saying that those who did not link their LPG connections to Aadhaar would not get subsidy from April 1.

The release, conveying the decisions taken at the review meeting, said the scheme of direct transfer of LPG subsidy will begin in Dakshina Kannada on January 1. Quoting Ms. Maddineni, it said the scheme had been implemented in many districts and that consumer in Dakshina Kannada should link their Aadhaar numbers to the LPG distributor and their bank for the oil companies to remit subsidy to their account.

The release said 8.71 lakh people had been issued Aadhaar and 9.52 lakh people had registered with National Population Register or NPR, an initiative of the Union Home Ministry, and that there were 3.7 lakh LPG connections in the district.

Full rate

It said consumers who have not linked their Aadhaar to their gas agency would have to pay the full rate of a cylinder.

The release, quoting the Deputy Commissioner, said gas agencies should use Aadhaar only to disburse subsidy and not for anything else.

The release quoted an IOC official saying that consumers would get the subsidy in their bank account within three to four days after supply of LPG cylinder.

What SC ruling says

A Bench of the Supreme Court headed by Justice B.S. Chauhan said on September 24 that Aadhaar should not be mandatory for essential services such as gas connections, vehicle registration, scholarships, marriage registration, salaries and provident fund. In October, the Supreme Court rejected the Centre’s plea to modify it. Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas M. Veerappa Moily had said that linking Aadhaar to bank accounts to avail subsidy was voluntary, though citizen groups alleged that the government was trying to implement the direct transfer of subsidy scheme through backdoor.

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