But it will be without biometric authentication of consumers every time a cylinder is delivered

Six months after starting a pilot project for distribution of domestic LPG cylinders on the Aadhaar platform to consumers registered with three distributors in Mysore city, the authorities have decided to extend the scheme to the rest of the district this month, but without biometric verification of consumers every time a refill cylinder is delivered.

Biometric verification of customers will be carried out at the distributor’s showroom after they provide their Aadhaar numbers.

Hitherto, biometric verification of fingerprints of consumers registered with three distributors was carried out every time the cylinder was delivered.

Meeting

At a meeting of the Task Force chaired by Joint Secretary, Marketing, Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, in New Delhi last month, it was decided to extend the project to all the 5.7 lakh domestic LPG consumers in the district covered by 30 distributors.

Mysore was chosen for the pilot as Aadhaar coverage was more than 90 per cent in the district.

According to a recent Gas Control Order, the distribution of subsidised LPG through Aadhaar platform is to be extended to districts, where Aadhaar coverage has exceeded 80 per cent of the population.

Gradually, Aadhaar-based transfer of LPG is expected to be implemented across the country in a bid to eliminate misuse and diversion of subsidised LPG, besides ensuring that the subsidy reaches the intended recipient.

Asked about the discontinuation of biometric verification during delivery of cylinder, an oil company representative said that the process was found to be redundant.

“Also, we have carried out one stage in which biometric verification was conducted every time a cylinder is delivered. We want to see what difference it would make if the biometric verification is restricted to only once,” he said.

In the second phase, the Government seeks to remit the subsidy amount directly into the account of the consumer’s bank account linked to Aadhaar.

“The customer will pay the market price of each cylinder, which is around Rs. 800,” the representative added. However, the oil marketing companies admitted that there had been instances in which biometric verification had failed.

“The point of sale device may not be able to capture fingerprints of some consumers. However, these account only for a small percentage. We have delivered 93 per cent of cylinders,” the representative said.

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