The decision of the Union cabinet on Thursday to put on hold the seeding of Aadhaar cards for LPG subsidy has come as a “big relief” for the consumers and consumer organisations in the city.

“It is very good,” was how S.R. Nayak, a consumer, who refused to get an Aadhaar card in view of an interim order of the Supreme Court that said Aadhaar cannot be made mandatory for such government benefits and services.

Mr. Nayak, who wanted Mangalore to be a model in fighting against the government that was trying to impose Aadhaar seeding “through the backdoor”, said people would now get LPG refills without any hassle.

He said he was reminded of a poor woman who could not afford to get an Aadhaar and wondered how she could have managed when the government was keen to implement direct benefit scheme under which the subsidy amount was to be credited to a bank account. Will she ever be able to pay Rs. 1,232 that is the price of a refill without subsidy, he wondered.

Consumer activist Ashok Bhat of Urwa said people were forced to link Aadhaar to bank and LPG distributors because one could not manage life without the LPG refills. “There will be no peace in the house if there is no gas cylinder at home,” he said.

Those who have seeded their Aadhaar numbers like Mr. Bhat are in a fix. He had to purchase a refill paying Rs. 1,232 recently but his account was credited only Rs. 425 while he used to pay only Rs. 413 per refill earlier. He hoped that the Oil Company would refund remaining Rs. 394 to his account. “I will give a letter my distributor tomorrow,” he said.

Shriranga Hosabettu of Balakedarara Hitarakshana Veidike, Surathkal who said the decision was “a big relief for all”, hoped that this was not an election stunt. He said his LPG distributor had not supplied the cylinder though a month had passed after the booking. His agency, too, had informed him that he would have to pay Rs. 1,232 when the cylinder is delivered.

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