Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister M. Veerappa Moily on Friday said people without an Aadhaar number will also be able to buy subsidised cooking gas cylinders since the government has decided to suspend the direct benefit transfer for LPG (DBTL) scheme.

“Subsidised cylinders can now be purchased without an Aadhaar account…A clarification will be issued within a week,” Mr. Moily said in Parliament. Apart from raising the annual cap on subsidised gas cylinders from nine to 12 last month, the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs had decided to suspend the DBTL scheme till a panel reviewed its implementation.

This decision will provide relief to many consumers who either do not have the Aadhaar number or do not possess a bank account linked to their Aadhaar number. There have been problems in the DBT programme, mainly related to banks, which have been given Rs.435 per cylinder as subsidy. But this is not enough as the subsidised price of one 14.2 kg cylinder has increased to Rs.700, he added.

The Minister also said oil marketing companies have released over 2-crore LPG connections after commencement of de-duplication exercise to eliminate multiple LPG connections in June 2012, while over 3.25-lakh LPG connections have been surrendered by piped natural gas (PNG) users till December 31, 2013. Over 1-lakh multiple connections that have been terminated during the ongoing ‘know your customers’ (KYC) drive as on January 1, 2014.

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