Centre Finds Most LPG Home Delivery Irregularities in Uttar Pradesh
Ministry of petroleum and natural gas has notified more than 1,600 such cases in Uttar Pradesh in the last three years across HPCL, IOCL, BPCL and Indane.
File image (Photo: Reuters)
New Delhi: What was believed to be the breeding ground of NDA’s flagship scheme, Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY), has now been identified as the state having the most number of irregularities in terms of LPG home delivery.
In a written reply to Lok Sabha, ministry of petroleum and natural gas has notified more than 1,600 such cases in Uttar Pradesh in the last three years across HPCL, IOCL, BPCL and Indane.
Indian Oil Corp. Ltd has faced the most number of irregularities.
Uttar Pradesh has also seen most number of registrations for free LPG cylinders under PMUY.
Launched on May 1 in Ballia, Uttar Pradesh, the PMUY scheme aims to provide clean cooking gas via free LPG connections to 50 million BPL women, with 15 million connections to be provided within the current financial year.
The government’s push for cleaner sources of energy comes in the backdrop of India ratifying the Paris Climate deal on October 2 which came into effect from November 4 wherein the country has pledged to significantly reduce its carbon emission levels.
The LPG subsidy bill of the government for the current year is Rs 27,110.62 crore. A subsidised 14.2kg domestic cooking cylinder at present costs Rs 430.64 in New Delhi whereas the actual cost is Rs 895.
Madhya Pradesh recorded the second highest number of irregularities in the country.
Supply of LPG as kitchen fuel is covered by the Essential Commodities Act, which requires the cylinder to be delivered at home within 48 hours of booking.
90 million new LPG connections have been distributed in the last four years, including 3.5 billion connections provided under the PMUY.
Ahead of polls, government-owned companies decided to defer recovery of loans that free-LPG connection beneficiaries had taken for buying cooking gas refills.
IOC said about 70 per cent of the PMUY customers availed interest free loan facility provided by OMCs towards financing LPG stove and/or first LPG cost.
The government raised the target of providing free cooking gas connection to poor women households to 80 million from previously stated 50 million.
India is the world’s second largest importer of LPG after China and remains ahead of Japan as the drive to provide clean cooking fuel to millions of poor families boosted household demand by nearly 8 percent in 2017-18.
India beat Japan in 2016 to become the world’s third-largest consumer of crude oil after the US and China.
Both IEA and OPEC see India as the main driver of growth in global oil demand for the next decade.
Available data indicate India’s imports of LPG – a byproduct of refining industry – in 2017-18 surpassing 11 million tonne in 2016-17 on the back of the Ujjwala scheme adding volume to overall demand.
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