Mumbai: The budget has announced a roadmap for direct transfer of subsidies to beneficiaries.
“To ensure greater efficiency, cost effectiveness and better delivery for both kerosene and fertilizers, the Government will move towards direct transfer of cash subsidy to people living below poverty line in a phased manner,” the budget said.
This will mostly be done through the UID (Unique Identification Authority of India) programme.
So far, so good.
The bomb comes in the next paragraph, when the Budget talks about “proposed system of direct transfer of subsidy for kerosene, LPG and fertilizers.”
But we presume that the direct subsidy transfer is only to people below the poverty line. If that is so, then this will be a political hot potato. LPG is mostly used by the middle-class. No government has dared to scrap the subsidy on this gas not wishing to annoy this vote bank.
But what does a direct transfer mean in this case? Will consumers have to queue up to receive a cheque for every cylinder they buy? Will the Prime Minister receive a subsidy cheque ?