The Biju Mahila Janata Dal Staged Demonstration Near Raj Bhavan Opposing The Centre's Decision To Withdraw Subsidy On LPG Cylinders And Their Price Hike.
The Centre’s decision to abolish subsidy on LPG and to hike the price has angered many people in the country. The Biju Mahila Janata Dal, which is the women wing of the ruling dispensation in the state, recently protested against the Centre’s decision and is demanding for subsidy on LPG and to stop the price hike.
The party has also gone ahead and submitted a memorandum to the President demanding for the decision to be ruled back. The party states that this decision will affect common people and other consumers negatively. The ruling party stated that around 14.5 lakh families in Odisha have been provided with LPG connections under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana with the promise of freeing poor households from traditional methods of energy use.Now, withdrawing it or increasing the price will leave them strangled.
Aadhaar is Mandatory for LPG Subsidy
The Aadhaar program launched by the Government of India is considered the most sophisticated identification system in the world. As on February 28th, 2017 it had enrolled 1.123 billion people. The Aadhaar was put in place to provide targeted delivery of subsidies to the people who require them. LPG Subsidy: The PAHAL scheme started by the government under which the subsidy for LPG is directly transferred to the Aadhaar which is linked to the connection. If there is no Aadhaar linked to a person’s LPG connection he/she will not be eligible to receive the LPG subsidy.
Govt Clarifies, Allows Other ID’s For Subsidy Schemes
The government clarified that it will continue to allow the use of non-Aadhaar identity proof to avail its various subsidy schemes. The clarification comes on the heels of sharp criticism it has received for forcing the use of the Aadhaar card for various schemes, such as the mid-day meal and various government scholarships.
A government spokesman issued a statement that re-iterated the government’s position regarding Aadhaar, stating that other identity proofs can be used to avail schemes till an Aadhaar number is assigned to an individual.
Regarding the mid-day meal scheme, the schools and anganwadis will be providing facilities to children till the ward receives his/her Aadhaar number.
Collection of Aadhaar Data By Private Firms Not a Good Idea : SC
The Supreme Court decline to move forward with hearing of Aadhaar related cases challenging the constitutional validity of this initiative but believed that data collection by private companies would not be a good idea. J S Khehar, the Chief Justice of India made these remarks after senior advocate Shyam Divan sought an urgent hearing of a plea, citing privacy concerns. Divan said that several issues needed to be heard by the Supreme Court on an urgent basis. He said it would become a 100% surveillance state and that there were a number of privacy concerns to be addressed as the biometric date was being collected by private companies.
But the Chief Justice said that since interim orders were in place, matters would be taken up in due course. He said that they are not inclined to give immediate hearing due to limited sources. Earlier, voluntary use of Aadhaar cards in social welfare schemes such as PDS, LPG subsidy, pension schemes and provident fund was permitted by the Apex court in addition to ambitious programmes such as Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana. However, a five-judge constitution had put forward a caveat that Aadhaar was voluntary.
Oil Ministry to Stop LPG Subsidy for Economically Well-off Households
The government provides 12 gas cylinders per year to each household, and a cash subsidy of Rs.70.74. The Petroleum and Oil Ministry had decided last year to stop providing LPG subsidy for any consumer who earns more than Rs.10 lakhs taxable income per year. Earlier, consumers were asked to link their PAN with their LPG account in order to identify those who fall under the 30% income-tax bracket. Around 1.05 crore consumers have voluntarily surrendered their subscription, but not all. Therefore, the Income Tax Department signed a MoU with the Oil Ministry to provide them with the income details of taxpayers who earn more than Rs.10 lakhs per annum. This data will help the Oil Ministry to identify, and stop LPG subsidy for those who haven’t voluntarily given up their subscriptions yet.
30 December 2016
No Subsidy For Non-Aadhaar Linked Accounts From December
LPG consumers living in Kolkata who have not linked their Aadhaar card to their bank accounts will not be receiving their LPG subsidy from December. A circular to this effect was sent to the IOC regional office by the Petroleum Ministry.
LPG subsidies will now be debited to the Aadhaar-linked bank accounts only and consumers who have not linked their accounts will not receive the subsidy till they link their accounts.
The Petroleum Ministry has been extending the deadline for mandatory linkage of Aadhaar card with bank accounts, but has stated that it will no longer be doing so.
According to reports, a majority of LPG customers who avail of the subsidy have already linked their accounts.
However, there are a number of customers who are yet to receive their Aadhaar cards due to technical difficulties or other such reasons. These customers stand to lose out on the subsidy amount until they link their Aadhaar cards.
There are also a few cases where the banks are still processing the card linking, with this delay likely to cost these customers dearly.