Besides holding almost daily review meetings to ensure no hickups in roll out of the programme to give cash subsidy to LPG consumers from January 1, Pradhan has been personally attending to complaints received from the 54 districts where the plan was rolled out in initial phase from November 15.

He has driven the public sector oil companies to come up a consumer-friendly portal - that provides solutions to all problems - from enrolling for the scheme, the procedure to get Aadhaar number, linking bank account to cooking gas account and checking status of subsidy transfer and tracking refil booking.
Official sources said the minister at a review meeting wiped out his mobile phone to dial a consumer in Ludhiana who had complained about not receiving cash subsidy.
From January 1, LPG consumers across the country will have to buy cooking gas at market rates. They will get the difference between current subsidised rate and market price for 12 cylinders in a year in cash that will be transferred to their bank acounts.

The Direct Benefit Transfer Scheme for LPG, which has now been renamed PAHAL, has been modified to exclude the requirement of unique identification number (Aadhaar) for availing the cash subsidy. Aadhaar is now optional but consumers should have a bank account linked to their LPG connection number.

PAHAL or Pratyaksh Hanstantarit Labh has been rolled out in 54 districts from November 15 and will extend to rest of the country from January 1.
Sources said Pradhan instructed officials to ensure that the LPG portal has Hindi as well as regional language options to help consumers. Under the scheme, LPG consumers will get cash subsidy in their bank accounts so they can buy a cooking gas cylinder at market price.

Cash equivalent to the difference between the current subsidised rate and the market price is transferred to the bank account of a consumer the moment he or she makes the first booking for a cylinder after joining the scheme.
The moment a consumer takes delivery of the cylinder, another advance cash subsidy is transferred to the bank account.

DBT (direct benefit transfer) is designed to ensure that the subsidy meant for the genuine domestic customer reaches them directly and is not diverted. Government is looking at saving Rs 10,000 crore in subsidy by curbing diversions and pilferages.

In 54 districts covering 11 states, the scheme covers 2.33 crore households. Currently, the Aadhaar generation level is 95 per cent in these districts.
Under the scheme, consumers will now receive SMS at every stage of enrollment in the scheme.


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