CHENNAI: LPG consumers in upscale localities of Chennai have largely stayed away from queuing up at gas agencies to register for the Direct Benefit Transfer of LPG (DBTL) Scheme to avail subsidies in their bank accounts. Incidentally, the number of superrich LPG consumers coming forward to voluntarily give up availing of LPG subsidy has also been significantly negligible.
Consumers wanting to give up their subsidy are required to fill Form 5 and submit it to their gas agencies. However, gas agency officials in upmarket localities such Boat Club, Cathedral Road and posh areas of Adyar and Anna Nagar said that the number of consumers submitting Form 5 could be counted on fingers.
However, gas agency employees say that many upscale consumers could actually be open to paying the market price of LPG cylinders but they may not take the effort to formally communicate this by submitting Form 5. “The number of upscale consumers queuing up at our agency is few. Possibly they may not have the time to take the trouble of coming here to submit Form 1 or 3 to avail of the subsidy under DBTL. For them paying around `500 extra (the subsidy component) for the cylinder may not be a big saving,” said a dealer in Adyar, who caters to some rich clients.
“We are not sure if this class of customers is completing the DBTL registration process online,” said a gas agency dealer who caters to customers in CIT Colony.
However, Sri Nakshatra, a 33-year-old resident of an posh locality in Thiruvanmiyur, said she was unwilling to let go her subsidy. “Not that I can’t afford to buy the LPG cylinder at market rates but I view the subsidy as a saving as our gas consumption is on the higher side,” she said.
Meanwhile, less than one per cent of DBTL applications received by Bharatgas as yet have been filled online. Bharatgas, which has around 10 lakh consumers in Chennai and surrounding districts, has received 1.5 lakh applications of which only 1,480 were filed online. “These have come from people living in Velachery, Porur, Adyar and Thiruvanmiyur,” an official said.
Another interesting feature agency owners have pointed to is the high number of ‘Name Change’ request forms that they continue to receive. “We have a separate queue for such regularization procedures,” a gas agency dealer in Purasawalkam said.