LPG subsidy: Aadhaar holders taken for a ride
By Mathew A Thomas | ENS | Published: 03rd October 2013 09:25 AM |
Those who have been over-enthusiastic to follow the government directive to link Aadhaar cards with their bank accounts to avail subsidies for LPG cylinders and other benefits are now ruing their decision.
For, even if the LPG subsidy amount was debited from their accounts, going by the prices of last month, an additional amount of Rs 26.65 was deducted from it against VAT.
With the non-subsidised LPG price going up by Rs 50 per cylinder from October 1, the value-added tax coming to the coffers of the state rose to another Rs 5 per cylinder.
In the case of LPG consumers who are yet to opt for Aadhaar linkage, they had paid only around Rs 445 per cylinder in September. It will remain the same this month also. But those with Aadhaar-linked bank accounts, the price was around Rs 945 last month. At the time of booking itself, a subsidy component of Rs 435 was credited in the bank account of such consumers. In the remaining second subsidy component of Rs 109, the deduction of VAT tax was effected.
The cost of one cylinder in the second category has increased by Rs 50 from Tuesday, to hit the Rs 1,000 mark.
The state government has gained immensely from the VAT tax collection, though only less than one-fourth of the total Indane LPG consumers in the state is estimated to have linked their Aadhaar cards with bank accounts.
“It is estimated that the state consumes around 1.25 lakh cylinders a day.
Out of it, subsidies of roughly 25,000 cylinders might have been linked to bank accounts so far,” pointed out M Sangeeth Kumar, general secretary, All-India LPG Distributors Federation, Kerala Circle.
Till the Aadhaar issue cropped up, a VAT amount of Rs 20 was being deducted from consumers at the door delivery of cylinders.
The rest of the total 20 per cent VAT amount due to the state government was debited by oil companies directly from subsidies offered by the Centre.
It is this additional amount which is being collected from Aadhaar-linked consumers now.