There have been estimated savings/benefits of Rs. 59,599 crore for the Government upto March, 2019 under the ‘PAHAL’ scheme of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas. The statement of fiscal policy, as required under the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act, 2003, laid in Parliament along with other budget documents by the Union Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman today, states that 4.23 crore duplicate, fake/non-existent, inactive LPG connections have been eliminated under this DBT scheme. Under the ‘PAHAL’ scheme, beneficiaries buy LPG cylinders at market rate and subsequently received subsidy directly in their bank accounts. Direct Benefit Transfer is a landmark initiative of the Government to ensure that benefits under various welfare and subsidy programmes of the country reach eligible and rightful beneficiaries. The document states that in addition, there are 1.86 crore non-subsidised LPG consumers, including 1.03 crore ‘Give it up’ consumers.
On the issue of Direct Benefit Transfer in PDS kerosene, the statements of Fiscal Policy indicate that till date, 12 State Governments/UTs have voluntarily surrendered their PDS kerosene allocations under DBTK Scheme. Eight State Governments/UTs have already cut down their PDS kerosene allocation to Nil. There has been an overall reduction of 12% for the year 2018-19 in comparison to the allocation of 2017-18.
The Budget Estimates provide an amount of Rs. 37478 crore as Petroleum subsidy for the 2019-20, compared to Rs. 24833 crore in revised estimates of 2018-19. Out of the above, Rs. 32989 crore are earmarked for LPG subsidy while Rs. 4489 crore have been allocated for kerosene subsidy.