• Jharkhand becomes first state to launch DBT in Kerosene

    Jharkhand has become the first state in the country to launch the ambitious Direct Benefit Transfer in Kerosene (DBTK) scheme, the petroleum ministry said in a statement today.

    The scheme aims at eliminating subsidized Kerosene from the supply chain for better targeting of beneficiaries, eliminate pilferage and black-marketing and cut down adulteration of the cheap cooking and lighting fuel with diesel.

    Jharkhand has initiated roll-out of the scheme in four identified districts — Chatra, Hazaribagh, Khunti and Jantara – beginning 1 October. “Under the DBTK Scheme, Public Distribution System (PDS) kerosene is being sold at non-subsidised price and subsidy, as admissible, is being transferred to consumers directly into their bank accounts,” the ministry said.

    The statement also clarified the government’s initiative is aimed at rationalising subsidy based on the approach to cut subsidy leakages but not subsidy. The DBTK scheme, which works on the lines of a similar programme for LPG subsidy, was initially to be rolled out across 40 districts in nine states from 1 April 2016.

    However, lack of bank accounts and their seeding with Aadhaar numbers coupled with problems in creating biometric database of beneficiaries had pushed back the launch of the ambitious plan to introduce DBTK.

    Under the scheme, consumers pay the non-subsidized price of kerosene at the time of purchase. Subsequently, the amount of subsidy is directly transferred to the bank account of the beneficiary. In order to avoid any inconvenience to the beneficiaries during the initial purchase through payment of un-subsided price, an initial amount of subsidy is credited to all eligible beneficiaries.

    Oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan had earlier said the centre is hopeful of covering at least 33 districts in nine states in 2016-17 calling it “A substantial leap forward in the reform process”. In a bid to incentivize states to implement DBTK, the states are given cash incentive of 75 per cent of subsidy saving during the first two years, 50 per cent in the third year and 25 per cent in the fourth year. The scheme is being launched initially in Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan and Gujarat. Phillip Lindsay Womens Jersey

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