Moily said there were complaints about implementation of the direct benefit transfer for LPG-DBTL scheme and a committee has been formed to look into the issue
Bowing to political pressure and hue and cry from common citizens, the Indian government on Thursday put on hold its scheme to transfer subsidy money into bank accounts of consumers through Aadhaar. The cabinet also raised the quota of subsidised LPG to 12 cylinders per household in a year from nine at present.
Oil Minister M Veerappa Moily, while announcing the decision taken by the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs, said the direct benefit transfer for LPG (DBTL) scheme, where consumers in as many as get 289 districts in 18 states got the subsidy amount in their bank accounts so that they could buy cooking gas at market rate, has been put on hold.
Currently, a subsidised LPG cylinder costs Rs414 while the market price comes to Rs1,021.
Explaining the reasons behind the move to put on hold a scheme that was dubbed 'game-changer, he said there were complaints about implementation of the scheme and a committee has been formed to look into them.
"Pending the committee examining the issues, the Aadhaar-linked LPG subsidy transfer has been put on hold," he said.
There had also been demands from within the Congress to scrap the DBTL as many consumers did not either have the Aadhaar number or banks accounts linked to the Aadhaar number.
DBTL, under which consumers got Rs435 advance money in their bank accounts so as to help them buy a LPG cylinder at market price, was this month extended to 105 districts including Delhi and Mumbai.
He said, households will get one cylinder extra, on top of the quota of nine cylinders, in February and March and from April they will be entitled for 12 cylinders -- one cylinder per month at subsidised rates.
Moily also said raising the LPG quota will cost Rs5,000 crore in additional subsidy annually.
Earlier this month, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi had at the All India Congress Committee (AICC) session earlier this month asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to increase the quota of subsidised LPG to 12 cylinders of 14.2-kg each.
Moily said 89.2% of the 15 crore LPG consumers use up to nine cylinders in a year and only 10% have to buy the additional requirement at the market price.
After the quota is raised to 12, about 97% of the LPG consumers would be covered by subsidised LPG, he said.
The government had initially capped the supply of subsidised domestic LPG cylinders to six per household annually in September 2012 in a bid to cut its subsidy bill. The quota was raised to nine in January 2013.
Consumers, who have exhausted their quota, have to buy LPG at the market price of Rs1,258 per cylinder. Subsidised LPG costs Rs414 per cylinder in Delhi.
Giving green signal to the trial court to proceed against Jayalalitha and Sasikalaa, the Supreme Court also vacated the stay order on the trial and directed the lower court to complete the proceedings within four months
The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to discharge Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa and her associate S Sasikalaa from three cases against them for not filing income tax returns from 1991-94 and set a time limit of four months to complete the trial.
A bench headed by Justice KS Radhakrishnan dismissed the petition filed by them challenging the Madras High Court’s order which had refused to quash the proceedings against them.
Giving green signal to the trial court to proceed against them, the Supreme Court also vacated the stay order on the trial and directed the lower court to complete the proceedings within four months.
The Income Tax department had in 1996-97 launched criminal proceedings against Jayalalithaa, Sasikalaa and Sasi Enterprises, of which both were partners, for not filing returns for the assessment years of 1991-92, 1992-93 and 1993-94.
The trial court had dismissed their discharge pleas and the Madras High Court had upheld the same in 2006.
Subsequently, special leave petitions were filed in the apex court against the judgement of the high court.
After waiting for nearly three years, Mumbai is all set to get its first monorail that would link Wadala to Chembur in the first phase
After a delay of more than two-and-half years, the Mumbai monorail is all set to begin its journey from Sunday. Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan will inaugurate the first route of monorail on Saturday. However, the services will be open for public only on Sunday for a limited time.
The 8.26-km route will connect Wadala in Central Mumbai with Chembur in suburban Mumbai. The services will run from 7am to 3pm, which would be increased gradually. From March onwards, mono rail will operate in the second shift.
One monorail train has four coaches and can carry 560 passengers that would be increased to six gradually.
According to a report from Business Standard, initially, the frequency between the two monorails will be 15 minutes and it will be reduced subsequently to nine minutes, and finally to three minutes, once the entire stretch of 19.17 km is completed. During the second phase additional 10 trains with six coaches will operate. There will be in all 19 stations after the completion of two phases, the report added.
At present the fares are between Rs5 to Rs11 with six stations on the way. Although there is no facility available for monthly pass like the Mumbai suburban railways, commuters of monorail would be provided a system to use smart cards.