The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has asked oil companies to extend the February 15 deadline for Aadhaar card linked delivery/sale of LPG cylinder refills for Ranga Reddy and Hyderabad by a month, till March 15.

The two districts, along with Anantapur, Chittoor and East Godavari, have been selected for implementation of the Aadhaar linked LPG supply on a pilot basis under the Central Government’s direct cash transfer scheme. The deadline set by the oil companies for providing Aadhaar numbers to the gas agencies concerned to get a refill resulted in a mad scramble at Aadhaar enrolment centres as customers who did not want to forego the subsidy on the cylinders thronged these centres, forcing the State to seek the Centre’s intervention.

Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Panabaka Lakshmi told reporters who met her on Tuesday morning, that direction had been issued to the oil companies to defer the deadline as Aadhaar enrolment did not progress on the expected lines. The Government proposed to link the LPG cylinder supply with Aadhaar cards in the light of reports of irregularities in cylinder distribution that was causing a dent to the ex-chequer.

“The Government is against causing any inconvenience to customers. We wanted to eliminate middlemen completely and hence, the proposed linkage with Aadhaar cards,” she said.

Meanwhile, Civil Supplies Minister D. Sridhar Babu has decided to go to New Delhi soon to hold discussions with the Union Minister Petroleum Minister M. Veerappa Moily and officials concerned seeking extension of the deadline.

The Government was committed to link Aadhaar cards with welfare schemes only after the enrolment process was completed in all respects, he said.

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