DBT saved Rs 21,000 crore in LPG subsidy: Government

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New Delhi, July 20 (IANS) The government on Wednesday said the direct benefit transfer (DBT) scheme on cash subsidy on cooking gas in the last two years had saved it over Rs 21,000 crore.

The government response came after a media report that the Comptroller and Auditor General is said to have found the savings to be less than Rs 2,000 crore.

“The total savings from the elimination of fake/duplicate/ghost LPG connections as a result of the implementation of DBT for the two last years is estimated at more than Rs 21,000 crore,” a Petroleum Ministry release said here.

A media report here on Wednesday said the CAG report, to be tabled in Parliament in the ongoing monsoon session, has found that the actual savings on liquified petroleum gas, or cooking gas, subsidy owing to the DBT — in which the subsidy is directly credited to the consumer’s bank account — could be actually less than Rs 2,000 crore.

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Giving details, the government said that for 2014-15, 3.34 crore blocked consumers would have cornered subsidy of Rs 14,818.4 crore, taking into consideration average subsidy of Rs 369.72 per cylinder.

“As a result of the DBT for LPG (or PAHAL) mechanism, it became possible to block these 3.34 crore LPG connections as the subsidy was transferred to accounts of only the registered consumers who have been cleared after de-duplication exercise.

“Before the DBT, all or many of these 3.34 crore consumers would have continued to purchase subsidised cylinders from the distributors. But for the blocking of these accounts, the subsidy bill would have been much higher despite fall in crude oil prices,” the statement said.

Moreover, the savings estimated for 2015-16 is Rs 6,443 crore and thus the total for both the years works out to Rs 21,261 crore, it added.

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