West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee has said that Aadhar card should not be made mandatory for getting LPG subsidy. She said that Aadhar card should not be made mandatory as only 15-20% people have their Aadhar card made and only 10-15 thousand people have linked their Aadhar card with bank account. She said that she had been told that SC has ordered that government cannot make Aadhar card compulsory for getting benefits and subsidy. If subsidy through Aadhar card gets approval then majority of the state people will be denied of the subsidy benefits. She added that she did not know how the government is violating this order and government should immediately review this decision. She said that she request Prime Minister to have a look at this issue. She also said that people are not beggar, government of a particular party will not survive always, government will change and government should take care of the people.
Petroleum companies also provided relief to the people of WB stating that at present people will continue to receive subsidized LPG cylinders in the state. If they do not have Aadhar card, even then there will be no increment in the price. A top Indian Oil official said that those who do not have Aadhar card, they will continue to receive LPG subsidy for three months. These rules are also applicable to consumers of HP and BP. He added that those who have successfully seeded their Aadhaar numbers will have to get subsidy benefits through the DBT scheme. Nine subsidized cylinders will be provided to consumers annually.
Consumers suffering in DBT-LPG subsidy scheme
With the launch of Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT scheme for LPG subsidy in selected 20 districts, besides lakhs availing benefits of it, many are compelled to bear the consequences of it. Consumers have to purchase LPG cylinders at market price for not submitting essential documents for the DBT scheme in the specified time. Those consumers who have not provided their Aadhar linked bank account and consumer number details to oil companies before 31st August after the launch of the scheme in 20 districts, they have to pay up to 2.5 times for refill of their LPG cylinders. Instead of presenting ways for giving relief to the common man, it is being said that many consumers are not taking interest in getting subsidy. They do not require subsidy. They have not shared their details with oil companies. Besides this, Oil Ministry has also said that until Supreme Court’s verdict on the Aadhar card issue, they have to pay for market price.
A senior Oil Ministry official said that about 1.5 million subsidized cylinders have been bought at market price in the last two months. Important is that no force is shown for making Aadhar card mandatory for the DBT LPG subsidy scheme which began in 46 districts from November 1. Official added that a grace period of 90 days has been provided to people in the district for linking Aadhaar with bank account and LPG consumer number in those districts where the scheme has begun till now but hope is that SC’s decision on Aadhar card compulsion will come before three months. If Aadhar card is not made mandatory for subsidy then other options can also be presented. This is why Aadhar card has not been told mandatory till now in these districts.