New Delhi: Consumers who have not linked their cooking gas connections to Aadhaar will get a three-month extension to do so.
The extension is being given as 20% of the 160 million consumers, especially old people, are likely to miss the 30 September deadline, which could deny them subsidy on the fuel.
“Till now, most of the oil companies like Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd, Hindustan Petroleum Corp. Ltd and Indian Oil Corp. Ltd have 80% Aadhaar coverage. If the September 30 deadline is not met, a buffer period of three months will be extended but beyond that, the decision remains with the concerned ministry," said Pratap Doshi, President of All-India LPG Distributors Federation (AILDF).
Initially, people had to buy cylinders at the non-subsidized (market) rate and had to get subsidy credited into their accounts. For this, they either had to link their bank account numbers or Aadhaar number to their LPG connection number.
The Supreme Court had last year ruled that use of Aadhaar will not be mandatory and can only be extended to services like transfer of cooking gas subsidy, Jan Dhan Yojana, and Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act.
However, since July, Aadhaar linked connections were made mandatory. All those people with bank accounts not linked to it were asked to do so.
“Most of the consumers who are yet to link their connections with Aadhaar are the old people. Along with a period of relaxation, fuel retailers will be urged to facilitate these consumers in getting Aadhaar numbers linked," said a person who is privy to the discussion between oil companies and the government.
However, the subsidy amounts of such people are unlikely to lapse in the meantime.
Gireesh Chandra Prasad contributed to this story.