40% of residents in district yet to link Aadhaar cards to bank account

Homemakers say the decision to increase the price of domestic and commercial gas cylinders will certainly have a cascading impact on the family budget of people who are already reeling under the impact of rise in prices of essential commodities.

According to reports, the price of domestic cylinder has been increased by Rs. 230 and of the cylinder for commercial purpose by Rs 385. 95. The decision comes at a time when oil companies have made it clear that domestic cooking gas consumers who have not linked their Aadhaar number to liquefied petroleum gas connection number and bank account within the given grace period would not be eligible for subsidised cylinders.

The hike means a family not having their Aadhaar number linked to bank account would be compelled to pay around Rs.1,300 for a cooking gas cylinder. Government sources told The Hindu that around 40 per cent of people residing in the district were yet to link their Aadhaar number to bank accounts.

With the high cost of living, residents fear that the latest hike would squeeze their budget further.

Vattiyurkavu resident S Sreelekha says: After a cut in our expenditure on vegetables and other essentials, we many now have to cut down even the cooking. The government has become insensitive to the needs of general public, she said.

A. Sindhu, a Central government employee residing at Nemom, said the whole exercise, the decision to introduce Aadhaar cards and make it mandatory for subsidized LPG cylinders, was part of a larger political game plan.

The government is well aware that a large chunk of people have not yet been able to get the Aadhaar cards. But still, the government is unwilling to extend the time for linking the card number with gas agencies.

“The plan, I think is to cancel the subsidy as a whole in the immediate future. Not satisfied with the success of their game plan to deny subsidy to crores of LPG consumers just because they failed to link the Aadhaar number with gas agencies, the oil companies have even increased the price per cylinder to subsidised consumers by Rs 230 on the New Year day,” she said.

Eating out will also leave the pocket lighter as hoteliers would be compelled to increase the price of food to compensate hike in price of gas.

“With increased job concentration in the city and reduced time, people depend on outdoor food. It is even more difficult for students, particularly for hostellers, who depend on their parent’s money for survival,” said Govind Krishan, who is staying in a city hostel for civil service preparation.

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