Flaw at bank level deprives subsidy for some LPG users

Oil Cos say no fault at their end; bank promises to fix technical problem

Flaw at bank level deprives subsidy for some LPG users

Although crores of citizens across the country are enjoying the subsidy on domestic cooking gas cylinder through the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme, a few people in the City have been deprived of this benefit.

The unique initiative of DBT is appreciated worldwide for its system-driven mechanism to deposit the subsidy amount directly into the bank account of the beneficiary. However, these handful people claim that certain errors at the bank level have taken away their benefit, despite not giving up their subsidy.

P N Chandrashekar, a resident of Malleswaram, said when he checked his bank account, he found that the money which was supposed to be deposited automatically under DBT was not credited. Hindustan Petroleum categorically told him that the fault was somewhere in the bank. It emerged at the State Bank of Mysore (SBM), where Chandrashekar has an account, that some technical problem caused rejection of the DBT facility. A few customers of Canara Bank too are facing the problem. “I have not given up my subsidy, but still the benefit has been denied to me,” he complained.

So was the case of D S Srinivasachar. He did not get benefit for the last five LPG cylinder deliveries. “The bank officials told me that I will shortly start getting the money, but it’s almost eight months since I got the money,” said Srinivasachar.

R N Manjunath, who did not get the DBT benefit twice, said, “The bank where I had an account was not scheduled under the DBT. So I opened an account in SBM, but that did not help me. I contacted the oil marketing company, where I was asked to lodge complaints and seek remedy through the Interactive Voice Record, which too did not help. I am running from pillar to post to get the work done.”

An official with Hindustan Petroleum denied that there was fault at the level of the oil marketing companies and blamed the banks.

“To credit money, there should be a proper bank account. How can money be deposited in an account which does not exist?” the officer said.

When contacted P Subramanya, nodal officer with SBM, admitted some defect in the internal system of the bank which denied DBT benefits to some people. “We will shortly rectify the errors,” he added.

The Centre introduced DBT to check misuse of subsidised domestic LPG. Many commercial users, especially hoteliers and industrial establishments, were using subsidised LPG for commercial purposes, which is against the objective of the subsidy on LPG. Also, to pass on the LPG benefits to the maximum number of people, the Centre had even put a cap of six cylinders a year, which was increased to nine and then to 12, owing to protests by opposition parties. The Centre is asking people to surrender subsidy so that the benefit is available to more under-privileged people.

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