Refills under Ujjwala scheme too low, says CAG report

Economy


NEW DELHI: The Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana has met 90% of its target of giving clean cooking fuel to 80 million people by March 2020, but its sustained usage remains a challenge as beneficiaries are not changing LPG cylinders regularly, a CAG report has said.

Also, there are numerous cases of exceptionally high usage of up to 40 cylinders a day that seems suspicious, the Comptroller and Auditor General report observed.

“As the target of releasing PMUY connections has been broadly achieved, PMUY beneficiaries in nil/low consumption category need to be encouraged for sustained usage,” the report said.

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It observed that the average annual refill consumption of 19.3 million consumers who had completed more than one year by the end of March 2018 was only 3.66 refills. “Similar analysis for 3.18 crore PMUY beneficiaries as on 31 December 2018 revealed that refill consumption declined to 3.21 refills per annum,” it said.

Low consumption of refills by about nine million consumers who had taken loans hindered the recovery of Rs 1,234.7 crore worth of loans, the report said. It also flagged the risk of illegal diversion of subsidised cylinder as there were 344,000 instances of 2-40 refills in a single day by a beneficiary having a single cylinder connection.

“Cases of high consumption of refills should be regularly reviewed to curb diversion,” it said. The CAG also raised concerns about safety norms in the use of cooking gas by beneficiaries.



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