Direct Benefit Transfer for LPG
Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Govt. of India brought out a scheme of Direct Benefit Transfer for LPG cylinders which is being reproduced what is stated on their web-site http://www.petroleum.nic.in/dbtl/
"Direct Benefit Transfer for LPG consumer (DBTL) is the scheme aimed to improve the subsidy administration of LPG across the country. As per this scheme an LPG consumer will get his/her cylinder at full market price and the differential between subsidized price and full market price i.e. the subsidy will be transferred to his/her bank account upto a capped limit(9 cylinders in a year) "
As in the past Govt. was selling the LPG cylinders under subsidised scheme which later on was withdrawn and stated that Govt. would refund the extra charge paid by consumers for 9 cylinders. Hence the subsidy which earlier was being incurred for unlimited purchase of LPG cylinders was brought to limited numbers of cylinders.
The plain reading of the scheme as above would be that the Government would pay the extra amount paid by the consumers in buying non-subsidised cylinders for purchase of 9 cylinders in a year. It is being examplified as if:
1. Cost of subsidised cylinder : Rs. X
2. Cost of non-subsidised cylinder : Rs. Y
3. Amount refundable to the consumer : Rs. (X-Y)
In fact the practice in actual is not what is visible above. It can be substantiated by taking an example of a consumer from the state of Haryana more particularly Faridabad as:
1. Cost of LPG cylinder (as per purchase bill on 13/09/2013) : Rs. 412.00
2. Cost of LPG cylinder (as per purchase bill on 26/11/2013) : Rs. 944.00
3. Differential price that should have been refunded under DBT : Rs. 532.00
4. Actual amount refunded thru DBT scheme : Rs. 435.00
As one can make out from the above that an amount of Rs. 99.00 (Difference of 3 and 4 above) is less credited to the consumer. This also implies that the consumer has paid a price of Rs. 511.00 in place of Rs. 412.00. Now the question is where this Rs. 99.00 has gone and is a subject matter of seeking information under RTI Act 2005. However, looking at the way the information are being supplied and responded by PIOs/ Appellate Authorities, it looks that RTI Act 2005 is also getting jeopardised. Another question would be is it improving the subsidy administration of LPG across the country as objectively laid down?