Following good response to the LPG direct benefit transfer scheme, the Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry on Monday decided to extend it to 35 more districts from September 1, taking the total coverage to 55 districts.
The scheme had met with considerable success in the 20 districts it was launched. Under the scheme, consumers get their subsidy directly in their bank accounts. The decision to include 35 more districts would add about 1.4 crore consumers to the 2.12 crore already being covered by the scheme where consumers get an advance of Rs. 435 in their bank accounts. They can then use this to buy gas cylinders at the market price which is double the subsidised rate of Rs. 410 a 14.2-kg cylinder in Delhi.
“With this, the total number of districts to be covered by the Direct Benefit Transfer for LPG scheme comes to 55. The districts which will be covered include 12 in Kerala, seven in Andhra Pradesh, seven in Himachal Pradesh, five in Punjab, two in Madhya Pradesh and one each in Maharashtra and Goa,” an official statement said.
Since its launch on June 1, about four million direct cash transfers have taken place to consumers’ bank accounts. So far, Rs. 150.6 crore has been transferred to consumers in 20 districts of phase one.
The government had envisaged the launch of this scheme with the aim of curbing leakages, preventing black-marketing and sending subsidy to the consumers’ bank accounts, the statement said.
All Aadhaar-linked domestic LPG consumers get an advance of Rs. 435 an LPG cylinder in their bank account as soon as they book the first subsidised unit before delivery.
When the first subsidised cylinder is delivered to such consumers, the next subsidy will be credited to their bank account, which can then be used for the purchase of the next subsidised cylinder at the market rate.