Millennium Post

PM seeks impact analysis of direct LPG subsidy scheme

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday reviewed the progress of implementation of the scheme for paying subsidy on cooking gas (LPG) directly into bank accounts of consumers.

The Direct Benefit Transfer Scheme for LPG subsidy, now renamed PaHaL or Pratyaksha Hastaantarit Laabh, covers more than 9.75 crore LPG consumers and is the world’s largest cash transfer programme compared to similar programmes in other countries such as China, Mexico and Brazil, an official statement said here.

Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan made a presentation on the scheme to the PM at the high-level meeting on Saturday. “Under PaHaL, LPG cylinders are sold at market rates and consumers are entitled to get the subsidy directly into their bank accounts. This is done either through an Aadhaar linkage or a bank account linkage,” it said.

PaHaL aims to reduce diversion and eliminate duplicate or bogus LPG connections. The Prime Minister, it said, conveyed his congratulations for the scheme which has witnessed a massive enrolment in a short span of time.

As on date, 9.75 crore LPG consumers have joined the scheme. This is 66 per cent of the total consumer base of 15.3 crore. A sum of Rs 3,654 crore has already been transferred into the bank accounts of LPG consumers through 9.25 crore transactions.

“The modified scheme has put in place various mechanisms to simplify enrolment and enhance consumer convenience, and thus, only 1.09 lakh complaints have been received so far, which constitute a mere 0.1 per cent of the transactions. Over 85 per cent of the complaints have been resolved.”

Preliminary data from 54 districts indicate that the growth of subsidised LPG has reduced significantly, accompanied by a corresponding increase in sale of commercial LPG. This is indicative that the scheme will enable substantive savings in subsidy which can then be deployed for other productive purposes, without reducing any entitlements of existing consumers.

“The Prime Minister said that after Pradhaan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, this is the next big scheme which will substantially benefit the economy. He directed that all steps should be taken to bring the remaining LPG consumers into the fold of PaHaL as soon as possible.  “He also asked for an impact analysis of the programme to be conducted in a professional manner.”
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