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Modi Govt launches modified direct benefit transfer scheme

Modi Govt launches modified direct benefit transfer scheme
After retaining former regime’s Aadhaar, the 12-digit individual identification number, the Narendra Modi government on Saturday decided to continue the Direct Benefit Transfer Scheme (DBTS), another populist scheme of the ousted UPA government, with a bit of tweaking. According to the modified scheme, which will be re-launched by Modi government, the LPG consumers will now be able to get subsidy directly in their bank accounts from 15 November even if they don’t have Aadhaar cards.

The cabinet, chaired by prime minister Narendra Modi, on Saturday approved the Modified Direct Benefit Transfer Scheme (MDBTS) in LPG which will be re-launched in 54 districts falling under Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Puducherry, Punjab and Telangana from 15 November and in rest of the country from 1 January, 2015.

While announcing the cabinet decision, union finance minister Arun Jaitley, said, ‘The UPA government had only linked it (DBT) to the Aadhaar platform. There were some legal issues, including some court orders, which had prevented the effective implementation of the scheme... therefore, we have decided that in addition to the Aadhaar platform all those who have a bank account will also get the LPG subsidy in their accounts directly.’

Jaitley added that LPG consumers who have opened accounts under the Jan Dhan Yojana too would get benefit from the revised scheme as about 6.02 crore such accounts have been opened so far against the 7 crore account opening target. The finance minister, who was addressing mediapersons after the cabinet meeting, said, ‘The scheme will be implemented in a mission mode and alleviate the hardship of the LPG consumers faced in the earlier scheme. This will ensure that no consumer is denied LPG subsidy for want of Aadhaar number.’

The subsidy amount will be fixed by the government, he said, adding that all LPG consumers will get a grace period of three months during which consumers who have joined the scheme will get subsidy in their bank accounts and others will continue to get cylinders at subsidised price.

LPG consumers, who do not join the scheme after the three-month grace period, will be eligible for an additional subsidy parking period of three months. During this period, LPG cylinders to all such consumers will be supplied at market price, but the subsidy due on all LPG supplies will be credited to the bank account as soon as consumer joins the scheme in this period and as per entitlement.

‘For those who are still left outside the scheme, those who neither have an Aadhaar identity or a bank account... the cylinder system will be still available for some time,’ Jaitley added.
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