CHENNAI: People who have never visited a bank in the past, especially elderly citizens, are queuing up to open their first bank account to avail of the LPG subsidy under the Direct Benefit of Transfer for LPG (DBTL) scheme that would roll out in the New Year.
With many people being put to hardship, a man has moved the Madras High Court (Madurai Bench) challenging the mandate to open bank accounts.
Leading nationalised bank branches here and elsewhere have been receiving at least 25 to 30 applications daily for opening a new account. “Elderly women, who can’t even walk properly, have visited our branch. Many of them are ignorant about how a bank functions. We pity them,” said a woman executive of a State Bank of India branch in Chennai.
In many households the LPG connection is in the name of women, while the bank account is in the names of their husbands or fathers. Under the DBTL, the subsidy will be credited only in the account of the person who owns the gas connection.
“I was rudely asked to bring my immobile mother to the gas agency as the connection is in her name. In comparison, the bank staff were polite,” said L Ezhil of Guindy. Curiously, many wanted to open accounts only in nationalised banks on the misconception that the subsidy would not be credited in private bank accounts.