The government has said that the estimated savings insubsidy on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), due to the blocking of 3.34 crore accounts under the Pahal scheme and related initiatives, worked out to Rs 14,672 crore in 2014-15.
These details were given in a clarification issued by the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas here yesterday following media reports which suggested that the government had made inflated claims about the savings on subsidies as a result of Pahal.
“In this connection, it may be mentioned that thesubsidy outgo, and consequent subsidy savings, is a result of multiplicity of factors namely (a) Prevailing Crude Price; (b) Prevailing Exchange Rate; and (c) Tax Structure in various States,” an official press release said.
“As on 1st April, 2015, there were 18.19 crore registered LPG consumers and 14.85 crore active consumers, implying a gap of 3.34 crore consumers which are duplicate/fake /inactive accounts blocked under Pahal Scheme and related initiatives. If we take into account the quota of 12 cylinders per consumer and the average LPG subsidy of Rs. 336 per cylinder for the year 2014-15, estimated savings in LPG subsidy due to the blocking of 3.34 crore accounts work out to Rs.14,672 crore, during that year,” the release added.
Pahal is a scheme of the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas for the Direct Benefits Transfer for LPG consumers. Consumers receive the LPG subsidies directly into their bank accounts, as per their entitlement of subsidized cylinders. Aadhaar, or Unique Identification Numbers, are used to uniquely identify each consumer and prevent duplication.