Lukewarm response to foresaking LPG subsidies

Lukewarm response to foresaking LPG subsidies

Only around 150 persons in the district have volunteered

The initiative launched by the Oil and Petroleum Ministry to encourage economically well off persons to give up LPG subsidies, has been met with a lukewarm response in the district.

The initiative was launched during the month of June last year by the Central government, after the implementation of Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) of LPG subsidies, which has now been rechristened as Pratyaksh Hastantharith Labh (Pahal).

According to Mehul Patel of Amardeep Gas Agency, only around 150 persons have opted out of LPG subisidies in the district so far. Referring to customers of Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL), he said that only 96 consumers have opted out of subsidies, seven months after the initiative was launched.

According to sources, the corresponding number among Bharath Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) was 29, and Indian Oil Corporation was less than 30.Patel said that the number of LPG customers in the district was close to 5.5 lakh.

“When the initiative was announced by the Centre, we expected that at least 10-15,000 people, who are regular tax payers and salaried persons, would give up on the subsidies. However, the response has been below expectations,” he said.

He attributed the same to the lack of awareness and a lethargy to forego of the subsidy amount. “Expectations with government employees and employees of oil corporations to give up subsidies were high,” he said.

Another distributor, who did not want to be named, said that there had been very few enquiries to opt out of subsidies provided by the government. “Majority of the people who have opted out are the individuals who do not want to seed their Aadhaar numbers and furnish bank account details,” he said.

He said that an awareness programme at government offices, would increase the number of consumers forsaking subsidies.