Leakages in the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana scheme
The CAG has found many leakages in the Government’s LPG scheme. The Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) scheme was launched in 2016 with the aim to provide free cooking gas connections to around 80 million poor families. The programme has achieved its target and that too well ahead of its schedule, however according to CAG there has been diversion of subsidies of beneficiaries and mass diversion of LPG cylinders for commercial purpose.
The audit revealed that there have been around 3.44 lac cases where the Hindustan Petroleum Corporation and Indian Oil Corporation have issued two to twenty refills in a single day to beneficiaries with single cylinder connection. The report concludes that such high consumption has beneficiaries is unlikely and there has been diversion of subsidised cylinders for commercial usage. Along the diversion of cylinders there has also been a diversion of the subsides. While the government has reiterated that it has a secure Aadhaar linked system to ensure secure dispersal, the CAG report indicates in its check of 164 LPG distributors that there have been instances where subsidies have been diverted. This has led to the diversion and deprivation to genuine beneficiaries. Thereby, the government needs to take remedial steps and correct the lapses in the otherwise beneficial system to ensure the benefits reach the intended audience.