The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) has written a letter to the Secretary, Petroleum and Natural Gas on the roll out of transfer of LPG subsidy through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT).
The letter, written by Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, recalls the decision of the National Committee on DBT to roll out the transfer of LPG subsidy through DBT in 20 districts with effect from May 15, 2013, and urges expedite steps to be taken by the Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry to ensure the timely roll out.
"The National Committee on DBT, in its meeting held on 5 April 2013, took an important decision to roll out the transfer of LPG Subsidy through DBT in 20 districts with effect from 15 May 2013. The roll out is to take place in other districts after crossing a certain threshold in Aadhaar enrolment in each district. The Ministers of Finance and Petroleum and Natural Gas has assured the Prime Minister that all necessary steps would be taken to ensure that the roll out happens as planned," said excerpt of the Principal Secretary's letter.
"I am writing to you to highlight the importance of expediting the steps that need to be taken by your Ministry to ensure the timely roll out. As far as LPG Subsidy is concerned, M/o P and NG is starting from the fortuitous position of having a more or less complete digitized database of consumers. Further, the financial transactions will have to be managed by the three Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) without having to deal with intermediate agencies. This is a good base to begin from," the letter adds.
The Principal Secretary in his letter says 'the main challenge is ensuring that the consumer database with OMCs and the bank accounts of consumers are seeded with Aadhaar numbers'.
"As the districts which have been chosen are part of the original list of 43 districts included in Phase-I, Aadhaar enrolment in these districts is quite high. I learn that Aadhaar seeding in OMC databases has risen considerably in the last four months. OMCs should make concerted efforts to ensure that seeding rates improve further in the remaining time that is there. M/o P and NG will need to coordinate with D/o Financial Services and the banks to ensure that the seeding in customer bank accounts also improves. A dedicated team in M/o P and NG for this effort would help," the letter says.
"Most importantly, M/o P and NG would need to move a note to the Cabinet and obtain whatever approvals are necessary for the roll out, as agreed in the meeting held in February 2013," the letter adds.
The Principal Secretary in his letter further says 'the numbers involved and the money to be transacted are much larger than in any other scheme under DBT so far'.
"I am confident that with dedication and effort, M/o P and NG and the OMCs will be able to roll out the transfer of LPG Subsidy through DBT successfully on 15.5.2013," the letter adds. (ANI)