In a major relief to lakhs of families in Kerala, the confusion over linking Aadhaar with LPG subsidy under the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme has ended. The gas agencies started distributing the commodity at subsidised price to all domestic consumers from Monday.
Majority of the gas agencies in Kerala has already made necessary changes in the software to facilitate the switch. The subsidy is now available irrespective of whether consumers have seeded the Aadhaar number with the banks or not.
Bharat Petroleum Distributors Association Kerala general secretary Joy Kalappura said that the billing software change was completed on Sunday.
The domestic cooking gas will now be available to domestic consumers at `441.50. Earlier, those who linked their Aadhaar with bank accounts were to pay `1131.50 to the gas agency. The subsidy amount was to be debited directly, in advance, to the consumer’s bank account once a booking is made.
Babu Varghese, general secretary, All-India Indane Distributors Association, Kerala Circle, said that agency employees often had to pacify angry consumers who seeded their bank accounts with Aadhaar, since they had to pay more than others. “This would come to an end now. Gas agencies would start functioning normally in two days,” he said.
Joy Kalappura said that those who have already booked their refill will get it without delay. When the software is updated, refill bookings will be automatically generated so that consumers need not book again. “If there are any complaints, it could be redressed by the gas agencies,” he said. Even if there is any problem in booking, the consumers can rebook after verifying the status of their earlier bookings, he said.
There were complaints that LPG subsidy was not being credited in full amount to the customers’ bank accounts. Around 50 lakh customers in Kerala had linked their Aadhaar numbers and a good percentage of them faced issues related to subsidy payment.