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Modi government introduces Direct Benefit Transfer scheme in Kerosene

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New Delhi: The government on Friday introduced the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme of cash transfer of subsidy in kerosene distribution to cut down diversion and black marketing of the fuel.

“Eight states have agreed to the introduction of DBT of subsidy for kerosene in 26 districts,” a union petroleum ministry release here said.

The states that have agreed to implement the scheme from 1 April are Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, and Rajasthan.

The Centre has allocated 86.85 lakh kiloliters of subsidized public distribution system (PDS) kerosene to states in the current financial year, while the country’s total annual consumption stands at 71.3 lakh kiloliters.

“The allocation is higher than the total household kerosene demand in the country. Thus, there is evidence some part of the kerosene allocation is diverted for non-eligible purposes,” the statement said.

“The success of the PAHAL scheme in cooking gas gives an indication of the potential for use of DBT to ensure that genuine beneficiaries get the benefit of the subsidy while preventing illicit diversion. Subsidy outgo for kerosene for the financial year 2014-15 was about Rs.24,799 crore,” it added.

To incentivize states to implement DBT in kerosene, they will be given cash incentives of 75 percent of subsidy savings during the first two years, 50 percent in the third year and 25 percent in the fourth year.

The government had launched the DBT in LPG across the nation since January 1, 2015 that has emerged as the largest direct benefit transfer scheme in the world.

Describing the DBT scheme as a “game changer” for India, Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian had, however, earlier this year urged caution in extending the LPG model to kerosene, which does not have a supporting supply chain in the form of state-run oil marketing companies. (IANS)

(Photo: nitibhan.com)

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Poor India can’t Afford Luxury of Corruption, says Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said technology can play a big role in countering corruption

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Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi taking selfie with a little girl. Twitter

New Delhi, November 8, 2016: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said a poor country like India cannot afford the luxury of corruption and called for increased use of technology to counter the menace.

Addressing the valedictory function of Vigilance Awareness Week here, Modi also said politicians were considered to be the most corrupt.

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“A poor country like India cannot afford the luxury of corruption. It is a tough challenge but we must continue to fight it. When we are vigilant in all sectors, there is a cumulative effect. There are honest countries in the world, so why can’t India be one of them,” said Modi.

Talking about how people often come out with “ingenious mode” to indulge in corruption, Modi said the politician community was the most infamous for corruption.

“Wherever you ask who is the most corrupt, people will say politicians. It’s our community (politicians) which is the most infamous,” he said.

Harping on initiatives like Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT), Modi said technology can play a big role in countering corruption.

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“Because of DBT, we saved Rs 36,000 crore which otherwise would have been channelised to somebody’s pockets. Because of use of technology we have been able to send this money to the rightful beneficiaries. Technology can play a big role in counting corruption,” he said.

He also advocated for policy-driven laws.

“Ambiguity can open avenues for corruption, that is why laws should be straight and policy driven. There should not be any ifs and buts. Otherwise people will use them to suit their vested interests,” Modi said.

“That is why we should focus more on policy driven laws, so there is no scope of ambiguity and thus no scope for corruption,” he added.

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Observing that there was a prevalent perception of “all being corrupt”, Modi called for constant endeavours at vigilance and countering corruption.

“It is only some who are dishonest but there exists this perception that all are corrupt. There is also this tendency of treating corruption as an acceptable norm. We need to fight this perception. Besides use of technology, we need to spread awareness,” added Modi. (IANS)