PAHAL on LPG to cover entire country from Jan 1

The direct benefit transfer of LPG (DBTL) scheme – Pratyaksh Hanstantrit Labh (PAHAL) – which was re-launched in 54 districts Nov 15, will be started in the rest of the 622 districts of the country from Jan 1, 2015.

The scheme will cover over 15.3 crore consumers across 676 districts of the country. Over 6.5 crore consumers, i.e. 43 percent, have already joined the scheme and will receive subsidy in their bank account, an official release said.

Consumers who wish to join the scheme will have to either link their Aadhaar number with their bank account and their LPG consumer ID. If they do not possess Aadhaar number, they will have to link their bank account directly with their 17-digit LPG ID.

The government has also asked all concerned to join the scheme as soon as possible.

“All LPG consumers, who are yet to join the scheme, must do so quickly. Those who do not have bank accounts must first open bank accounts and then submit the required details to their LPG distributor/bank for becoming cash transfer compliant,” it said.

“Once a consumer joins the scheme, he will get the cylinders at market price and will receive LPG subsidy directly in his bank account,” it added.

A sum of Rs.568 will be paid in advance to the consumer, who now joins the scheme, in the bank account as soon as he makes the first booking for a cylinder after joining the scheme. This will ensure that the customer has extra money required to pay for the first LPG cylinder at market price. This is in addition to subsidy that is paid on each cylinder,” it said.

Camps are being set up at various banks, and LPG distributors’ premises to enable LPG consumers to open bank account and enroll for Aadhaar if they need to do so to join the scheme.

To keep consumers informed about their status in the scheme, consumers will receive SMS at every stage in the scheme. To avail this feature, all LPG consumers are requested to register their mobile phone number with their distributor if they have not done so. They are also advised to receive cylinders only with cash memos to be assured of their subsidy transfer.

As on Dec 30, an amount of Rs.624 crore has been transferred to over 20 lakh LPG consumers since the launch of the scheme Nov 15.

The consumers, who do not wish to avail the subsidy for LPG cylinders, can simply choose to opt out of it.

“Over 12,000 citizens have already voluntarily given up subsidy freeing up crores of subsidy amount for their less privileged brethren,” the release added.