Around 21 per cent of LPG consumers in Puducherry district have been left out from the process of linking their Aadhar numbers to their respective bank accounts, to avail of the LPG subsidy, even as the grace period for seeding Aadhar card numbers with the consumer’s bank account ended on August 31.
After the DBT (Direct Benefit Transfer) scheme for LPG was launched in June 1, a grace period up to August 31 was given for Aadhar seeding to receive the subsidy.
According to Oil Marketing Companies (OMC), around 79.14 per cent of the LPG consumers in Puducherry district have seeded their Aadhar numbers to the bank accounts. Out of 2,46,200 LPG consumers, the accounts of 1.97 lakh LPG consumers have been linked to Aadhar and consumer number, according to information from LPG dealers in Puducherry. The remaining 21 per cent of the consumers numbering 49,200 have been left out.
Out of 1.22 lakh LPG consumers in Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), 81 per cent have been seeded, while for Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPC), 80.22 percent out of 91,000 consumers have been seeded and Bharath Petroleum Corporation (BPC), 76.2 percent seeded out of 33 that is 200 consumers. Unless the grace period is extended, these consumers would not be able to get LPG subsidy and would have to pay the entire price of the LPG . However, according to banks, only 54.2 per cent of the consumers have seeded their Aadhar card numbers to bank accounts, out of the 2.38 lakhs active LPG consumers.
Though 76 per cent of the consumers numbering 1.81 lakh have provided their Aadhar numbers, seeding has been completed only for the 1.29 lakh. Seeding is going on for the remaining consumers.
The delay by banks in the seeding process is owing to the fact that seeding is mostly done through their corporate offices, which are in places like Chennai, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru. The corporate office has to upload it in the National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) portal for seeding to be complete.
Despite the mismatch of figures between the bank and OMCs, a good number of consumers who have not seeded their Aadhar with bank accounts could have been ineligible beneficiaries, who have been weeded out through the Aadhar linked DBT.
Such cases include those with multiple connections and, therefore, are reluctant to seed their Aadhar numbers. Some consumers are registered with more than one oil company, while some residing in Tamil Nadu areas have connection both in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry who have opted out of Aadhar seeding.
“We have done so much campaigning through media, notices, autorickshaw publicity, and laid out all the options to facilitate easy seeding of Aadhar with bank accounts.
Besides, every consumer who has not given Aadhar was also intimated. It is not possible that consumers were unaware. It is that they have decided against it,” said an oil company personnel.
In Puducherry, 10,46,035 people have got Aadhar out of the total population of 12,44,464, according to official sources. In Puducherry region 94 per cent of the population has got Aadhar, 54 per cent in Yanam region and 79.88 per cent in Mahe. Some of LPG consumers could be among those who are yet to get even Aadharenrolment number. There has been several problems with faulty capture of biometric data and as a result people are having to go for re-enrolment.
Now the question arises as to how many genuine consumers have been left and what happens to them: Whether the grace period would be extended or they would get excluded from LPG subsidy. The banks, however, claim that they are continuing with the process of Aadhar seeding and have not stopped it.