NEW DELHI: State-run banks are worried that their commission for facilitating direct cash transfer of cooking gas subsidy will get blocked after the government delinked the scheme from Aadhaar cards. The direct benefit of transfer to LPG consumer (DBTL) scheme, under which participating banks receive 1% of the total transaction as commission, was suspended last week following criticism that it is inconveniencing consumers.

Officials, who did not wish to be named, said banks are yet to receive about Rs 40 crore as commission for the 60 million transactions done under DBTL so far. Since its launch in June last year, DBTL has covered more than 60% of the 150 million LPG consumers in the country.

“In some districts, we, through our own efforts and staff, have seeded almost half of the accounts with Aadhaar numbers,” an executive director of a state-run bank said, adding that banks are still using mobile and internet banking applications to seed accounts of more customers with their Aadhaar numbers.

These banks are expected to raise the issue of pending payments with the ministries concerned. “Thefinance ministry has given us no instructions on whether we should stop seeding the numbers. It is an expense, and we will raise this issue with both the finance and petroleum ministry,” the bank executive said.

A petroleum ministry official, however, said that since delinking of Aadhaar cards from the subsidy is yet to be notified, banks should not worry about payments. “All payments will be done in due time,” the official said.

A finance ministry official said they have not received any communication that the scheme has been called off. “We are yet to receive any formal orders,” the official said.

Earlier, oil minister Veerapa Moily had said that the Cabinet has decided to set up a committee to review implementation of DBTL. “Based on its report, the government will improve the scheme. All schemes are meant for people and we don’t want even a single consumer to suffer due to implementation problems. We will fine tune the system,” he had said.

Some bankers feel that not enough work was done to make the scheme popular. “The first subsidy was given in advance and that was not advertised as it should have been, because it would have alleviated the fear that the subsidy will not reach on time,” said a senior executive of Punjab National Bank.

The scheme was suspended after concerns were raised that it was becoming unpopular and could have a negative fallout in the forthcoming general elections. The government has also raised the number of subsidised cooking-gas cylinders to 12 per household in a year from nine.

Last fiscal, the subsidy burden due to domestic LPG was about Rs 40,000 crore.