Aadhar must for LPG delivery

Petroleum ministry to begin using UID

If citizens are unable to provide their Aadhar numbers while seeking cylinder delivery, they may end up having to cook without LPG.

“The Ministry of Petroleum is in the process of passing a control order to make the Aadhar number mandatory to get LPG cylinders in Mysore and Hy­derabad,” said Satwant Si­ngh, Executive Director, Indian Oil Corp (IOC). The order is aw­aiting legal clearance, he added, while speaking to Deccan Herald on Thursday. Last year, the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas launched a pilot project in Mysore, Tumkur and Hyderabad, to link the distribution of LPG cylinders with Aadhar numbers.

The Central government set up the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), which was later renamed as ‘Aadhar’, in 2009 to provide a 12-digit unique number to all residents of the country.

The authority enrolls individuals by collecting their fingerprint and iris details, name, gender, date of birth and address proof. It also allows individuals to prove their identity online to avail a wide range of services, from PDS goods to banking services.

It has already issued unique numbers to one crore Indians so far and targets to reach 600 million by 2015. IOC sent one round of notices to customers to collect their Aadhar numbers but failed to elicit a good response, Singh said.

By making it mandatory the company hopes to finish the pilot project by the year-end and then implement the scheme in other cities, which are ahead in the enrollment of Aadhar numbers.  

IOC plans to collect the Aadhar number of all family members and link them to the customer number, Singh said.

According to the new system, the delivery boy would come with a handheld device while delivering the LPG. He would handover the cylinder only after one of the family members authenticate their identity. 

The backend technical infrastructure to implement the system is reportedly ready. “It would take just one week to move to the new system after we get the Aadhar numbers,” Singh said. 

Earlier, addressing the delegates at a Nasscom meet on Next Generation Service Delivery, Singh said the biggest challenge before the oil companies was to deliver the LPG cylinder to the right customers. There was room for misuse due to a price difference of Rs 45 per KG of LPG, between domestic and commercial cylinders. Distributors have been caught using fake connections to nonexistent customers to divert cylinders. Many customers have also been found having multiple connections and using additional cylinders for hoarding or black marketing.

As the LPG subsidy is steadily escalating, the government is under pressure to streamline distribution. The subsidy on LPGs is expected to shoot up from Rs 13,500 crore in 2005 to Rs 32,000 crore by 2016. 

Oil companies may also explore the option of passing on subsidies directly to the customers. “We may handover the list of customers to government treasury, which could then transfer the subsidy money to customers,” Singh said.

Aadhar officials have said from UIDAI’s point of view there was no compulsion on the individuals to get enrolled. However, other government and public sector agencies may ask for it while delivering their services, they have maintained.

Gas trouble

* 12-digit Aadhar numbers for LPG distribution
* LPG to be distributed only to ‘right’ customers
* Distributors caught using fake connections
* Subsidy on LPG expected to touch Rs 32,000 crore by 2016

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