Free LPG scheme to cost govt Rs 340 more per connection

Free LPG scheme to cost govt Rs 340 more per connection

Free LPG scheme to cost govt Rs 340 more per connection

The state government will incur an additional expenditure of Rs 340 on each of its Anila Bhagya beneficiaries (providing free LPG connections and gas stoves to BPL families) in order to claim credit for the scheme by affixing a sticker “Mukhya Mantri Anila Bhagya Yojane” on the gas stoves.

The state Food and Civil Supplies department had approached the state-run oil marketing companies – IOC, BPCL and HPCL — urging them to provide domestic LPG connections at Rs 1,600 each. The actual price of a LPG connection is Rs 1,940. But the oil companies flatly refused, saying the state cannot claim credit for the scheme after obtaining the connections at a lower price.

The Centre, however, gets the connections for its Ujjwala scheme at Rs 1,600 each. So the state government has now decided to implement the scheme (Anila Bhagya) without the oil companies’ support. “We will pay the full amount to  LPG connections. The department will collect applications from eligible beneficiaries and will submit them to the local LPG distributors directly. We will spend Rs 1,940 on each connection (Rs 340 more than what is offered under Ujjwala scheme). And the gas stove that we will provide along with the LPG connection will have the sticker,” Food and Civil Supplies department secretary Harsh Gupta said.

The state and the Union governments are at loggerheads over implementing respective free LPG schemes in the state. While the Centre’s Ujjwala scheme envisages providing free LPG connections to non-LPG BPL families according to the 2011 Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC), the state’s Anila Bhagya scheme aims to provide free LPG connections plus a gas stove to five lakh non-LPG BPL families (those who are not included in SECC). Both the schemes are said to be aimed at wooing the electorate ahead of the crucial Assembly elections in the state.

Gupta said that of about 1.30 crore families in the state, 1.10 crore families already have LPG connections. But all 20 lakh non-LPG families are not covered under the Ujjwala scheme. The state government has, therefore, come up with Anila Bhagya. The department has developed its own software to process the applications submitted under Anila Bhagya. It is mandatory for beneficiaries to submit their Aadhaar numbers, he added.

CM photo on message card

The department plans to distribute a “message card” which will have a photograph of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on it to all the beneficiaries under Anila Bhagya. The card will be given along with the documents pertaining to the connections. It will have full details of the Anil Bhagya scheme, including subsidy given by the government, and safety measures to be taken for using LPG gas, he said.