Centre frowns, but Karnataka firm on CM Siddaramaiah’s pet scheme Anila Bhagya

BENGALURU: Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s pet scheme — the Mukhya Mantri Anila Bhagya Yojane that promises free LPG gas connections for Below Poverty Line families — has come into rough weather with the Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas expressing its disapproval over  the manner in which it is being launched by bypassing the oil marketing companies and directly going through the distributors’ network.

“This system may lead to large-scale chaos,” said an official communication from the ministry on Tuesday.
The ministry said: “The state government while announcing the implementation of modalities of Anila Bhagya Yojane has gone back on the earlier agreed commitment at the joint meeting of Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Karnataka State Food and Civil Supplies Minister. Therefore, it is clarified that current format of the scheme is not in line with the established procedure, and hence is not having the concurrence of the Union ministry.”

The state, however, is going ahead, citing “more transparency” by going directly through the distributors’ network rather than through the oil marketing companies.

The ministry also raised the issue of Karnataka placing an advertisement in the newspapers saying the scheme was being implemented in collaboration with the Union government. It said the state had earlier approached for approval. It had advised the state to implement it as a complementary scheme of Prime Minister Ujjwala Yojana and follow the procedure of implementing the scheme through oil marketing companies only.

Pankaj Kumar Pandey, secretary, food and civil supplies, said, “We have received the Centre’s approval in July 2017. The issue now is with modalities. We are going through distributors’ network for greater transparency, as through the oil marketing companies there is no visibility of applications. We will write to the Union ministry explaining our intention of going with the distributors.”

GAS SERVICE

Under the Anila Bhagya Scheme, state government will provide free LPG connections to about 27 lakh Below Poverty Line families
It is structured on the lines of Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana launched by PM Narendra Modi
Raison d’etre of CM’s pet scheme is that the people did not benefit from PM’s scheme properly
About 2.16 lakh families in state selected for Ujjwala scheme, but yet to get  LPG connections
Scheme announced: July 6, 2017

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