Citizens' Issues
Aadhaar not mandatory for availing LPG subsidy in bank account: Govt

The union government once again made it clear that Aadhaar number is not mandatory to avail LPG subsidy and the consumer can receive the subsidy in his bank account under MDBTL scheme

 

Contrary to the bombardment of advertisement from the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), the Aadhaar number is not mandatory to avail LPG subsidy. Dharmendra Pradhan, the minister of state for Petroleum and Natural Gas, informed the Lok Sabha that under the modified direct benefits transfer for LPG (MDBTL), consumers joining this scheme will get cylinders, subsidised as well as non- subsidised, at market price and subsidy amount as applicable for each domestic subsidised cylinder is transferred to their bank account. 
 
"If the LPG consumer does not have an Aadhaar number, he can directly receive subsidy in his bank account without the use of Aadhaar number. This option which has now been introduced in the modified scheme ensures that LPG subsidy is not denied to an LPG consumer on account of lack of Aadhaar number," he said. 
 
Last month, the Narendra Modi government re-launched its modified direct benefits transfer for LPG (MDBTL) scheme on pilot basis in 54 districts across the country. The main feature of this modified scheme is LPG consumers will be able to get subsidy directly in their bank accounts from 15th November even if they do not have Aadhaar numbers.
 
Pradhan said all LPG consumers have a grace period of three months from the date of launch of DBTL in the district, during which all those who have not yet joined the scheme would continue to get subsidised cylinders as per their entitlement. 
 
After the end of grace period, an additional parking period of three months is given to such consumers during which the subsidy entitlement will be parked and will be transferred to consumer's bank account on joining the scheme during this period.
 
The previous DBTL scheme launched by the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government failed due to its linkage with Aadhaar numbers with bank accounts. Most people did not have either Aadhaar number or a bank account. Now with a push for opening bank accounts, the MDBTL has been linked to both, Aadhaar numbers and bank accounts.

User

COMMENTS

sunlight

3 years ago

1 )The oil companies not trained the gas agency people in the forms

2 )They are completely ignoring the judgement and make a compulsion of adhaar card.

3 )If we view the website we can see the bank accounts without adhaar card
still under the verification even after three weeks. And at the sametime bank accounts with adhaar card are in green signal.

Drdhule Kailash

3 years ago

It is unfortunate that gas distributors and even banks like SBI doesn't know about it.even if they know there is no software downloaded for accepting consumer nu or LPG ID NU.Vice versa HP GAS Distributors are too batting the consumers by saying that first get update form nu 3/4 by bank first.then n only then they will accept form nu 3/4.it is controversial when the company itself send the messages on mobile either collect bank documents to LPG distributors or collect the LPG papers to bank.but both are denying. i am one of the sufferer.what the common man n illiterate people from village should do?

mohammed

3 years ago

If we not get the amount in our bank than to whom I ask the money? As per my suggestion better Govt. should give the subsidy amount direct to LPG Dealers as per their records & dealer should take the acknowledgement from their customers.

Public Interest Exclusive
Should SUUTI sell its winners, Axis, ITC and L&T & hold the losers?

The government could meet its fiscal deficit targets by selling its Rs61,300 crore stake in ITC, L&T and Axis Bank. But these have turned out to be, by far, the government’s best investments. Shouldn’t it, following the sound investment advice, hold on to its winners and sell its losers first?

 

The government had planned to raise around Rs5,000 crore this fiscal year by selling stakes in companies including ITC, Larsen & Toubro and Axis Bank through the ETF route. Arvind Mayaram, former finance secretary at the finance ministry, had said that the government was considering floating an ETF to sell these shares held by SUUTI (Specified Undertaking of The Unit Trust of India). However, the government has put its plans on hold. There is a lot of criticism that the government is holding on to these shares while fiscal deficit is running high. Should it?

 

Well, the fact is that, the government’s accidental holdings in these companies have turned out to be outstanding investments and compared to its planned investments in public sector companies, from where it gets meagre dividends and hardly any price appreciation, except in a few glorious cases.

 

Smart investors have repeatedly advised traders and investors to follow a simple rule:

hold on to the winners; sell the losers. And ITC, L&T and Axis Bank are the stocks that are the big winners for the government. The big losers are in fact its shareholdings in various public sectors companies that need to be supported from time to time like Air India.

 

The government holds 11.27% in ITC worth Rs36,078 crore, 8.18% in L&T worth Rs11,700 crore and 11.66% in Axis Bank worth Rs13,510 crore. As on 12 December 2014, its stake in all three companies is worth approximately Rs61,300 crore. All these stakes are held indirectly by SUUTI, created in 2002 after the then UTI was wound up. In five years, the value has gained 157% or 21% annually from Rs23,850 crore as on 12 December 2009. Even over three years, the value is up 48% or 14% annually.

 

This is not the first time the government has planned to sell its stake in these top performers. The government has been mulling over this for the past few years. In 2011, the government had planned to pledge shareholdings of SUUTI to buy shares of state-owned companies in its attempts to meet the disinvestment target. That never happened. It finally got down selling approximately 9% in Axis Bank in March this year, bringing its holding down to 11.66%. The transaction was the first major divestment of shares held by SUUTI. If it had held on to that stake, the government would have been richer by Rs852 crore now. Then in 2014 it planned to sell its stake via the ETF route, like it did for other PSUs in March 2014. However, this too, seems to have been put off.

 

Ironically, the government got saddled with the shares of these professionally-run blue-chip firms while it rescued Unit Trust of India in 2002. UTI was split into UTI Mutual Fund and SUUTI, to bail out investors in Unit Scheme 1964. And now, these investments have delivered extraordinary returns.

 

In his maiden Budget in July, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley set a target of Rs58,425 crore to be raised through selling its stakes in state-run companies and part holdings in private companies. He would do well to sell many of hundreds of losers the in the government’s portfolio than these big winners.

User

Ministry of Health must initiate urgent steps to educate people about pharmaceuticals

In view of the changing conditions in this market, it is imperative that the Ministry of Health, under JP Nadda, takes suitable action to educate the public on the drugs sold in the market

 

The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA), from time to time, caps the prices of various medications so that these are as easily available and affordable as possible, to the public. The Drug regulator has mandated all manufacturing companies to seek its approval for every new medicine, including combinations of the existing ones, so that the consumer is not overcharged.

 

Until recently, the prices of 374 medicines were capped by the Government. The Pharma market is said to be large and estimated to be about Rs79,000 crore and, due to the increased usage and introduction of more expensive drugs, likely to become even bigger in the years ahead. In spite of this, very often, to by-pass the control of the Regulator, manufacturers are known to modify the mixes, combinations and dosages in such a manner that they fall outside the purview of the 374 medicines that are listed and capped by NPPA!

 

However, NPPA keeps a close watch on these, including the formulations and the new drugs that come into the market to protect the consumer.

 

Recently, NPPA has revised the prices of some 52 formulations which include basic medicines like antibiotics as well as medications to manage kidney failures. It may be remembered that the manufacturers are free to fix the launch prices of all new medicines outside the list of 374 capped ones, but in order to do so, it is mandatory for them to submit a compliance certificate to the price controller "approving" the new medicine, as a "new drug". This will have to be obtained from the Drug Controller General of India.

 

Apart from keeping a close watch on prices of essential drugs and ensuring that, by various "technical" means, manufacturers do not increase prices, as explained above, it is also necessary for NPPA or the Ministry of Health to ensure those of the life-saving drugs that Multi-National Companies have been delaying launch or supply in India, after getting the monopoly rights. It has been reported in the press, that cheaper generic versions of the exorbitantly priced medicines are also going "off-the-shelf" under the product-patent law!

 

Press reports further indicate that some of the MNCs that can supply drugs to treat serious illness like cancer, HIV hepatitis C and TB are somehow deferring the launch for reasons best known to them. Such moves make artificial shortage in the market.

 

In the meantime, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has moved a Cabinet note to allow 100% FDI in medical devices as part of a strategy to not only reduce imports but also to promote local manufacture, and supply to the global market. 70% of such medical devices that India needs are imported and India has the potential and capacity to make for export as well. The global market for such devices is said to be huge, estimated to be over $ 400 billion!

 

In view of the changing conditions in this market, it is imperative that the Ministry of Health, takes the following action:

 

  • a) Ministry of Health directs all Doctors, issuing prescriptions, need to give the generic names of drugs that are being prescribed, along with branded names, if given. These are to be written in Capital letters, in English (that the patient may not know English, does not matter, besides being illiterate)

  •  

  • b) Ministry of Health, in all the States, publish advertisements in the local (vernacular) press, as well as in English language, the above (a) fact, and also list out the names of shops, full address details, including phone numbers etc, where, patients can obtain generic medicines

  •  

  • c) Ministry of Health must also direct that all medicines dispensing shops, located in hospitals, need to have list of generic medicines available in the store - experience shows, when patients are admitted in the hospital, more often than not, prescriptions are handed over to the person accompanying the patient to "obtain this or that medicine from shop downstairs"!

  •  

  • d) Ministry of Health must direct all manufacturers to print the generic names of drugs on the packages for easy reference! If some of them already have adequate stocks of such packages, they should be allowed to put "stickers" or rubber stamp the generic names

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  • e) Ministry of Health must direct the manufacturers that it is mandatory for them to list the senior citizen's discount and clearly state the price applicable in the package itself

Finally, Dr Harsh Vardhan must immediately authorise organisations like NPPA to upgrade their websites and show accessible email addresses so that the public can contact and obtain information from them. NPPA or Drug Controller and other similar related organisations under the Ministry of Health should all be listed in one place, identifying their main functions and identifying the Public Relations officer who should be able to answer public when they get in touch with them.

 

It is necessary such organizations become easily accessible to the public.

 

(AK Ramdas has worked with the Engineering Export Promotion Council of the ministry of commerce. He was also associated with various committees of the Council. His international career took him to places like Beirut, Kuwait and Dubai at a time when these were small trading outposts; and later to the US.)

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COMMENTS

Narendra Doshi

3 years ago

Very useful advice

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