The Direct Benefits Transfer (DBT) subsidy scheme is being extended to 78 more districts in July even as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday acknowledged that it has "run into difficulties" and that efforts must be made to ensure the programme does not fail.
The flagship programme, rolled out in 43 districts in Phase I in January, will be expanded to include LPG subsidy in a phased manner to cover 20 districts by May 15 and more districts will be brought in its ambit along with the expansion of Aadhaar enrolment.
The total number of LPG consumers in the country is 14 crores and as the scheme rolls out, the subsidy amount will be transferred to consumers directly into their bank accounts.
With the subsidy going directly, there will be only one price at which cylinders will be sold at a dealer's shop. This will eliminate all ghost connections and diversion of cylinders, an official statement said.
The scheme will be expanded to include post offices from October, 1 2013.
Reviewing the progress of the scheme, Singh said, "We have come some distance since Direct Benefits Transfer programme was rolled out in January. In this period, we have resolved a number of operational issues. I am encouraged by this progress and hopeful about the future.
"But we have also run into difficulties that we had not anticipated when we began the programme. We must therefore renew our efforts for successful implementation of the programme."
He said its implementation has "revealed the unsatisfactory nature of tracking and monitoring systems we have in various departments."
Underlining that "we cannot afford to fail", he said, "We need to show that we can deliver results and benefits."