Book Review: Heads You Win

LPG subsidy and aadhaar

On December 1, Phase V of Direct Benefit Transfer for LPG will commence.  Phase V districts include Bangalore.

My parents in Ernakulam are already "beneficiaries" (if one may put it that way) of the scheme, being part of the Phase 2 districts.

The amount of knowledge (or lack of it) that a layman has about this is reflected in the conversation that I had with my dad a couple of weeks back.

"Hey, I just got this LPG cylinder at home and had to pay Rs.1000/- odd.  I believe I should have got the subsidy amount in the Bank.  Now I am not sure to which Bank the subsidy has gone. I remember giving it in Dena Bank as well as SBI.  I checked Dena Bank and there is no credit.  Can you check SBI online so that I can spare the travel to the Branch?"

I checked online and found the credit - not one, but two - one for 400-odd rupees and another for 500-odd, in a space of a week.  I was clueless why there was no credits and will varying amounts.  That is when I decided to understand the whole thing a little better.

Here is the methodology.  In short, you get the first subsidy when you make the first booking (so that you can pay when the cylinder comes).  Once it is delivered, you get the second subsidy.

Another discovery was the Dec 1 date for launch in Bangalore.  That meant I had to do the needful to be "eligible" for the DBTL.

There are three things to be done.

  1. Get an aaadhaar card if you do not have one. 
  2. Fill this form with the aadhaar card details and submit it your LPG dealer
  3. Fill a form and submit it to the Bank where you want the aadhaar card to be linked

Steps 2 and 3 are mutually exclusive since LPG dealer does not care if your aadhaar card is linked to your Bank account or not.  Likely, the Bank does not worry why you need to link your card to the account.  I wonder what happens if you do 2 but not 3.

The important thing about linking Aadhaar number with a Bank account is, you are expected to link it to just one of your Bank accounts and not all.   This is not an information which Banks care to publicize.  Each Bank says link your card to my account.   I am not sure what transpired in my dad's mind that he decided to link to two Banks, but surely if either Bank had asked if it was already linked to another Bank, this would have been nipped in the bud.

I had no trouble doing Step 2, since the LPG agency is on my way to office and it took about 20 seconds for the person in the counter to take my form, tear off the acknowledgement, put a seal and give it to me. "It will take 4 days to do the linking" was his answer to my question on when would this be done. We can check the status here.

Step 3 was interesting.  HDFC Bank refused the form I had filled, saying it did not have a Customer Number field that they needed.  So, they had their own form for linking aadhaar to the Bank account.  They also needed a copy of both sides of the aadhaar card.  Interestingly, they provided a link to do this online, where you did not need to produce any proof.  But this link showed up in their "Offers" tab in the Internet Banking portal and apparently does not show up again, once you clicked on it.   I wondered how aadhaar card linking could be an "offer" from a Bank!

Anyway, I did my booking for a refill a couple of days back and hopefully will get the "subsidized" LPG this time!

And what about the different subsidy amount credited to the Bank?  That is because the subsidy amount varies based on the market price of the LPG at the time of booking.  Also it looks like the subsidy is not without its goof-ups.

Now what about the recent Supreme Court ruling on aadhaar card not being mandatory for government services?  As per this link, it is a must for LPG subsidy.

Update 9 Dec 2013

We had made an LPG booking on 27 Nov 2013 (a few days before the "rollout" in Bangalore).  On 6th Dec, we got an SMS saying my booking has been cancelled.  On calling up the IVR, the message was, we did have a booking and the agency had fulfilled the bookings upto a few days back.  It was weird - usually the booking got cancelled only if you were not at home during the delivery.

On Sunday (8 Dec 2013), came the LPG refill.  It showed the booking date as 6th Dec.  What was more important was the price.  It was the unsubsidized price - Rs.1041 or so.  The guy who brought the cylinder said the subsidy would come to my Bank account.  (The receipt indicated this as well).  Interestingly, those who had not provided aadhaar information had LPG receipt of Rs.420/- - the subsidized rate.  This, I guess, is the 3 months grace period.

The workflow here is definitely different from the methodology provided. I wonder if it is the startup trouble or goof-up.  Anyway, I need to now await the Bank credit:)

Update 19 Dec 2013

I got two credits in my Bank account on 11th December.  One - Rs.435/- a one-time advance and Rs.612.62, subsidy against the cylinder delivered.   All is well that ends well!


  1. The first 400 was against the cylinder delivered to you, and the next 500 is against the booking of another cylinder...

    But can authorities make it mandatory based on supreme courts ruling?

  2. And why would the amount be so different? Looks like a combination of a VAT related goof-up and the increase in LPG market price. As for whether it can still be mandatory, it appears at this point of time, it is - refer the last link above.

  3. Firstly I was staying with my parents and family at KOLKATA and one LPG is available there in my name. After that I was join at Mumbai and staying with my wife and daughter and also procure a 2 cly LPG here. Can I register my both LPG with a same aadhaar No and can I take subsidy facility for both place? can I transfer my LPG to my mother name at kolkata ? pl help.

  4. Bijon, you should have transferred and not taken a new cylinder. Once you register with same aadhaar, it would be known that you have two connections. You can have subsidy only for one. You should transfer the Kolkata one to your mother's name.

  5. Hi,
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    We are leading gas suppliers company engaged in LPG Gas, Gas Cylinder, Gas Bottle, LP Gas.


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