Since the entire cost of LPG subsidy is borne by the government of India, transfer of funds when the scheme was initially launched resulted in loss or pilferage by government authorities. In order to avoid such instances, the government decided to adopt the direct benefit transfer for LPG at subsidized rates. This is called PAHAL (Pratyaksh Hanstantrit Labh) or Direct Benefit Transfer. The scheme was launched on June 1, 2013 covering 291 districts, relaunched a year later with an addition of 54 districts and in 2015 managed to cover the entire country. Now, the government directly transfers the cost of the subsidized LPG and currently aids over 15 crore customers over 676 districts across the country. Through the customer’s Aadhaar card or bank account, the government, since December 2014, has disbursed Rs.624 crore towards subsidized LPG.
Initially, the LPG subsidy was available to all, with the only requirement of submitting one’s Aadhaar card. Recently, the Modi-led government started the “Give-it-up” campaign. The government pleaded with the well-off citizens and those who do not require a subsidy to give up their LPG subsidy and pay for LPG at the market rate. The campaign saw a large number of people from the working class, approximately 10 million people, giving up their LPG subsidies. The amount the government saved through this campaign was used to fund gas connections for families below the poverty line in several backward states. If a customers or his/her spouse earns more that Rs.10 lakh that is taxable, he/she will not be eligible for the LPG subsidy.
Options for Direct Benefit Transfer
For a customer to receive LPG subsidy in his/her bank account, the government has devised two methods – with and without the customer’s Aadhaar card.
- To avail the subsidy that would be transferred to one’s bank account, in the first option, the CTC (Cash transfer compliant) has to link his/her Aadhaar card to his/her bank account. For this, all that the CTC has to do is share his/her Aadhaar card details with the LPG distributor. The customer will then receive the money directly to his/her bank account.
- The second option is for those customers that do not have an Aadhaar card. Initially it was mandatory to present one’s Aadhaar card details to receive the LPG subsidy, but the government has now relaxed the restriction. Now, for CTCs that do not have an Aadhaar card, he/she needs to share his/her bank account details with the LPG distributor. The bank details are – Bank account name, Bank branch and IFSC code. Another option is to submit one’s 17-digit LPG consumer number with the bank. By doing so, the CTC will receive the LPG subsidy on a monthly or quarterly basis. Depending on the requirement.
For those who have already linked their Aadhaar card to their bank account when applying for the LPG subsidy, they do not need to make a fresh application for the modified option – without Aadhaar card – to receive the LPG subsidy.
For customers who haven’t applied for the direct transfer for LPG subsidy
For customers who have not applied for the transfer three months after the launch of the DBTL, they can still receive LPG cylinders at a subsidized rate. That is between Jan 1, 2015 to March 31, 2015. For those who still haven’t joined the DBTL scheme after the initial three months, they will be given a grace period of three months. During this time, they will have to pay for their LPG cylinders at the market price and the subsidized LPG money will be kept with the Oil Marketing companies. If they have applied for the DBTL for LPG subsidy between April 1, 2015 to June 31, 2015, the parked subsidy amount will be credited to their bank account. For customers applying for the LPG subsidy post June 31, 2015, they will have to apply for the permanent advance for the DBTL.
Permanent Advance for the DBTL
For customers availing the LPG subsidy after June 31, 2015, a one-time permanent advance will be credited to their account. This account will remain fixed in their bank account till the customer terminates his/her LPG connection. As of now, the one-time advance is fixed at Rs.568. This amount will cover the cost of the LPG subsidy for the first month. Once the advance is made, the CTC (Cash transfer compliant) will receive an SMS stating the same. For this to happen, a customer needs to submit his/her registered mobile number with the LPG distributor.
For those who have queries or grievances with regard to the DBTL, they can contact the Oil marketing companies mutual helpline – 18002333555, or call the UIDAI at 18003001947.
Out of of the 15.4 crore LPG subscribers in the country, 10 crore have subscribed for the DBTL, making it an accomplishment. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that it was a momentous accomplishment to know that 10 crore citizens of India have subscribed for the DBTL.