75 per cent consumers in the district have seeded accounts
Banks and LPG retailers have been directed to work out strategies to ensure that all domestic LPG consumers in the district comply with the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme to receive cash subsidy in their respective bank accounts.
The DBT for LPG consumers was rolled out in Mysore district in July, 2013. As per the scheme consumers pay the prevailing market rate for LPG cylinders, but receive the subsidy amount in their bank accounts.
The pilot project was introduced in view of high rate of Aadhaar penetration in Mysore.
Mysore district has about 5.5. lakh LPG consumers (this varies from month to month in view of transfers, disconnections and fresh connections) and about 75 per cent of the consumers are DBT-compliant so far. This means they have submitted Aadhaar numbers to banks where they operate their accounts and to LPG retailers, and this in turn has been matched by the National Payment Corporation India Ltd. (NPCI) which transfers the subsidy.
District Lead Bank Manager K.N. Shivalingaiah of the State Bank of Mysore, told The Hindu that the accounts of 75 per cent of the consumers have been seeded and were regularly receiving the subsidy on booking a refill. “But there are still many out of purview of the DBT as they have either not submitted the Aadhaar numbers or their accounts have not been seeded. The higher authorities have directed us to work out strategies to make them DBT-compliant and complete the seeding,” said Mr. Shivalingaiah.
“But for the door-to-door campaign, we have exhausted all possible methods. Under the aegis of the Mysore District Bankers Forum we have conducted public awareness programmes, sent bulk SMSs, conducted street plays, held rallies, distributed pamphlets,” said Mr. Shivalingaiah. However, the high cost of Rs. 30 lakh entailed in conducting the door-to-door campaign is proving to be a deterrent and hence other methods are being contemplated, he added.
A core committee of important banks, representatives of oil companies and LPG retailers has also been constituted to thrash out a solution and to redress complaints in the DBT mechanism. “The complaints pertain to credit transfers to different accounts and we wish to take it up with the NPCI,” Mr. Shivalingaiah said.
Meanwhile, nearly Rs. 51.21 crore subsidy has been credited to the bank accounts of LPG consumers in the district as on November 6, 2013, of which Rs. 36.10 crore is the subsidy for LPG and Rs. 15.11 crore is the one-time advance subsidy. There have been 7,34, 182 refills or transactions in the district.
Meanwhile, local authorities have not received instructions from the Union government to not deny subsidy in case consumers have not complied with the Aadhaar requirements following the Supreme Court’s observations as the government has decided to appeal against the directive.