The Indian Government's initiative to transfer cash subsidy on cooking gas directly to the consumer has become the world's largest direct benefit transfer with a record 2.5 crore households receiving about ₹550 enabling them to buy cooking gas at market rates.
The scheme rolled out on 15 November -- affecting 54 districts -- has become a success, with the nation-wide roll out set for 1 January 2015.
Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said that the direct benefit transfer on LPG (DBTL) has overtaken such programmes in China and Brazil. He also revealed that he had personally reviewed the rollout in almost 42 districts, with another 10 to be completed by the end of the year.
"In 54 districts, 75 per cent of the population is now covered by DBTL," he told Press Trust of India. "Out of such a large number of users joining the scheme, we received only 3,000 complaints, 80 per cent of which have been addressed within 7 days."
Oil ministry officials and senior executives from the oil marketing companies have adopted a district each and oversee the successful roll out of the scheme, which sees consumers receiving the funds in their bank accounts connected to their LPG connection.
On joining the scheme, the oil marketing companies credit customer accounts in advance cash subsidy basis to enable them to purchase LPG refills at market price.
On taking delivery, the customer would see the next credit coming into the bank account for the next refill.
The current rate of a LPG refill is at ₹752 for a 14.2 kilogram canister. However, the subsidised price is ₹417, with the remainder constituting the subsidy.