Flaws in Aadhaar-based DBT come to fore

Flaws in Aadhaar-based DBT come to fore

LPG distributors, customers discuss problems of the scheme

Flaws in Aadhaar-based DBT come to fore

Several shortcomings pertaining to the Aadhaar-based Direct Benefit Transfer of LPG subsidies (DBT) were highlighted during a review meeting of a high-level committee, held here on Wednesday.

The committee, headed by Sanjay Dhande, former director of Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, interacted with LPG distributors, customers and representatives of various banks in the district.

Talking about various problems faced by distributors, Mehul Patel of Amardeep Gas Agency said that a mechanism for ‘subsidy tracking’ was necessary, as LPG distributors did not know to which bank account of a customer the subsidy was being transferred.

Preventing ambiguities

He added that a ‘mapping referral number’ was also essential to ensure that subsidies are transferred to the correct account, so as to prevent any ambiguities.

Distributors also complained about the delay in seeding, ‘as different banks followed a different process of seeding’. They also sought a mechanism from the National Payments Corporation of India which enables to have a history of subsidies transferred to a particular account, either on a website or through text messages.

C R Krishna of Little Gas Agency, described the scheme as “searching for a black cat in a dark room,” as the concerned implementing agencies had failed in issuing appropriate directions regarding the DBT. There must also be a provision for customers to walk in and walk out with subsidies after producing the Aadhaar card, he added.

‘Transparency essential’

Niraj Mittal, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum, said: “Transparency in seeding and tracking subsidies is also essential,” he said. He added that the bank employee strike in February hurt DBT, as transfer of subsidies was delayed during the period.
Dhande said that the committee was looking at measures to remove the ‘cobwebs’ in Aadhaar based DBT, in the case the project was revisited or re-launched later.