Wednesday, December 20, 2017

HPCL asks Airtel to immediately return cooking gas subsidies: Report

STATE-run oil marketing PSU Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) on December 19 asked Airtel Payments Bank to immediately transfer the cooking gas subsidies it had got back to the bank accounts of customers or to the oil companies. This comes after LPG subsidies of millions of customers have been crdited to the Airtel Payments Bank accounts without their permission. "To link LPG subsidy to earlier bank accounts, we have written...
to Airtel Payments Bank that the subsidy amounts of these consumers be immediately either transferred back to their earlier bank accounts or to the respective oil marketing companies," HPCL said in a statement.
The PSU said the decision came after it got a large number of complaints from consumers through various channels including social  media, print media and VIP references regarding non-credit of the LPG subsidies into their earlier bank accounts for the past few weeks.
Since early June, there have been reports that Airtel Payments Bank accounts have been credited over Rs. 47 crore worth of LPG subsidies from over 23 lakh customers without their consents. Of these, around 11 lakh LPG customers belong to Indian Oil while the rest are with Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum, as per the information that oil companies shared with National Payments Corporation that maps bank accounts with Aadhaar and oversees retail payments and settlement systems. Oil companies have also found that Airtel has been opening payments bank accounts of its customers without their consent. Airtel has denied any wrongdoings and claimed that it was abiding by the law. The Unique Identification Authority had on December 16 temporarily barred Bharti Airtel and Airtel Payments Bank from conducting Aadhaar-based SIM verification for their mobile customers using the eKYC process and also e-KYC of payments bank clients.
Airtel Payments Bank was the first such bank to begin operatiosn since early this year.

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