LPG consumers across the country will, from 1st January, get cash subsidy directly into their bank accounts so that they buy the cooking fuel at market price.
Domestic LPG users will get Rs 568 in the bank account the moment they join the Direct Benefit Transfer Scheme for LPG, which has now been renamed PAHAL. They will have to use this money to buy 14.2-kg refill at the market price.
Currently, the subsidised LPG costs Rs 417 per 14.2-kg cylinder while a market-priced refill costs Rs752 in Delhi. It will be priced higher in other cities depending on local taxes.
The ambitious plan, launched by the previous UPA government in June 2013 but abruptly stopped earlier this year following court orders, has been modified to exclude the requirement of unique identification number (Aadhaar) for availing the cash subsidy.
The New Delhi District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has asked Nathus Sweets to pay around Rs1 lakh to a South Delhi resident, Monika K Sapra, for supplying laddoos unfit for human consumption.
Ms Sapra had ordered 80 packets of laddoos for a birthday party. However, the item was foul-smelling and had a bitter taste. Ms Sapra approached the firm but did not get any response. She then independently submitted a packet of the packed laddoos to a laboratory which reported the food was not fit for consumption. She served a legal notice on the firm demanding a refund, compensation and legal expenses but it was rejected.
Thereafter, she approached the consumer forum which ruled, “Nathus Sweets has tried to take advantage by having a fresh batch tested rather than agreeing to the poor quality.” The firm had indulged in unfair trade practices by not accepting the report obtained by Ms Sapra.
The Forum directed Nathus Sweets to return the cost of laddoos (Rs25,920), and pay Rs50,000 for deficiency, embarrassment and loss of reputation and Rs20,000 for litigation expenses.
To mark the ‘Good Governance Day’, telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad announced that the limit of postal life insurance has been raised from Rs20 lakh to Rs50 lakh. He also launched one-month rental-free MTNL broadband and landline combo plans on new bookings.
The 21 schemes he announced also included support for international patent protection in electronics and an Internet-based real-time system to provide eServices in rural India.