The Guinness Book of World Records certificate recognising India’s direct LPG subsidy transfer as the world’s largest cash transfer programme was handed over to Prime Minister Narendra Modi by Union oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Saturday.
The previous UPA government had conceptualized and rolled out the programme to pay LPG subsidy directly into bank accounts of domestic users from September 1, 2013.
However, the direct benefit transfer on LPG (DBTL), which faced some teething troubles that were later sorted out by the NDA government, was relaunched under a new name PAHAL in 54 districts from November 15, 2014, and all over the country from January 1, 2015.
“The PAHAL scheme has been acknowledged by the Guinness Book of World Records for being the largest cash transfer programme (household) with 12.57 crore households receiving cash transfer as of June 30,” an official statement said here.
“As on December 3, 2015, 14.62 crore LPG consumers have joined the PAHAL scheme and are receiving the subsidy directly into their bank accounts.”
Under the scheme, LPG throughout the country is being sold at a market price. However, domestic users get a cash subsidy to keep their payout on the fuel at the old rate of Rs 417 per 14.2-kg cylinder in Delhi.
“This scheme has enabled substantive savings in subsidy on supply of LPG consumers to households. As on April 1, 2015, there were 18.19 crore registered LPG consumers and 14.85 crore active consumers, a gap of 3.34 crore consumers which are duplicate/fake/inactive accounts that have been blocked under PAHAL scheme,” the statement said.
“If we take into account the quota of 12 cylinders per consumer and the average LPG subsidy of Rs 366 per cylinder for 2014-15, the estimated savings in LPG subsidy due to blocking of 3.34 crore accounts work out to Rs 14,672 crore during that year.”
Under Pratyaksha Hastaantarit Laabh (PAHAL), Hindi for the DBTL scheme, users get LPG cylinders at market price and receive subsidy as per their entitlement directly in their bank accounts.