The poor do not have bank accounts and the rich do not want to share details of theirs to get subsidized LPG cylinders. A survey done by the ministry of petroleum in 20 districts shows that 2% of the LPG users have refused to take subsidized cylinders ever since the government made it mandatory for people to provide their bank account and Aadhaar numbers to be eligible for subsidized cylinders.
At present, the government provides nine subsidized LPG cylinders per subscriber annually with about Rs 500 subsidy on each cylinder.
“People do not want to share their bank account details as they do not want their account details to be under the scrutiny of the government for an annual subsidy of Rs 4,500. This will only help the government bring down its subsidy burden,”said an official in the petroleum ministry.
The survey was conducted with a sample of 30,000 subscribers from the 72 lakh consumers in the 20 districts covered under the direct benefit transfer scheme.
“We believe that by next year, as much as 5% of the people would forgo their entitlement to subsidized cylinders. Calculations made at 2% of the country’s LPG subscribers suggest that the government will save Rs 1,260 crore annually,” the official added.
In 2012-13, the government paid a subsidy of Rs 37,000 crore on providing subsidized LPG to consumers. It is looking for ways to bring down its subsidy substantially and the DBT scheme was aimed at curbing black marketing of subsidized cylinders. The government had launched the direct benefit transfer scheme earlier this year in 20 districts which now has been extended to 54 districts.