Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian on Thursday said that the introduction of the PAHAL scheme has reduced subsidised domestic sales of LPG across the country by close to 25 percent.
“On average, the direct benefit transfer for LPG has reduced subsidised domestic sales by about 25 percent. LPG has gone through three phases – originally it was called DBT, then it was suspended and now it has been reintroduced by the present government under PAHAL,” Subramanian said, while speaking at the UNDP Conference Hall in the national capital.
“Over time, lots of things have changed. The international price of petroleum has changed, so the per unit subsidy has changed, and so on. Even though the subsidy offered by PAHAL was half that of the DBT scheme, the percentage shot up, perhaps due to other institutional improvements like the Jan Dhan Yojana,” he added.
The PAHAL scheme, which covers more than 9.75 crore LPG consumers, is perhaps the world’s largest cash transfer program as compared to similar programs in other countries such as China, Mexico and Brazil.
Under the scheme, LPG cylinders are sold at market rates and entitled consumers get the subsidy directly into their bank accounts. This is done either through an Aadhaar linkage or a bank account linkage.
PAHAL aims to reduce diversion and eliminate duplicate or bogus LPG connections.