Source: News Bharati English07 Feb 2017 09:36:27
New Delhi, February 7: More than one crore five lakh LPG consumers have voluntarily given up their LPG subsidy. Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan gave the information in a written reply in the Lok Sabha on yesterday.The Minister also said, More than 3.5 crore fake and duplicate LPG accounts have been identified for 2015-16 under PAHAL. we blocked these connections and saved INR 210 billion subsidies in 2014-15 and 2015-16. Commercial LPG sales increased by 40% in period April 2015 – March 2016 in contrast to pre-PAHAL when these sales were not growing at all, showing how the subsidized residential supply was earlier diverted to commercial.
The scheme is benefitting over 176 million consumers and over Rs. 40,000 crore of subsidy has been transferred directly to the beneficiaries bank accounts in the last two years. It has also resulted in estimated saving of over Rs. 21,000 crore in two years to the government.
Earlier Petroleum Minister said on Asia LPG Summit, we needed to improve was access to clean cooking fuel. When we assumed office, we had a system of misdirected subsidies, rich and upper middle class were entitled to LPG subsidies. There were many duplicate connections and the subsidized LPG was diverted to commercial and industrial segments. As a result poorest of the poor never had access to LPG. In 2014, almost half of Indian households didn’t have LPG connections. We took it as a challenge and decide to change the LPG landscape in India.Nearly 6.3 million new LPG connections have been released to poor (BPL) families in 2015-16 linked to the Give it back campaign and utilizing Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds of our oil marketing companies (OMCs). Friends, globally many multilateral agencies like the World Bank have highly praised “Give it up” campaign, sighting it as the finest example of voluntary citizen participation in the governance process, said Pradhan.Meanwhile, world’s largest cash benefit transfer scheme PAHAL is LPG subsidy directly into the bank accounts of the beneficiaries. This made the process transparent and plugged the subsidy leakages which were otherwise being misused through ghost accounts.