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Maharashtra tops the list of states where cooking gas consumers have voluntarily given up or surrendered their LPG subsidy. As on January 29, 17.31 lakh people in Maharashtra have renounced their subsidy, followed by 12.84 lakh consumers in Uttar Pradesh and 7.9 lakh consumers in Delhi, said Minister of State (independent charge) for Petroleum & Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan in a reply to a question in the Lok Sabha.
If more Maharashtra consumers have given up their LPG subsidy, it is also because there are more of them in the state than in any other in India. Those opting out of subsidy in Maharashtra make up 7.94 per cent of total LPG consumers in the state. While that is well above the national average of 3.58 per cent, it is par for the course for one of the richest states in the country. There are as many as 19.16 crore active domestic LPG customers in India. As of January 29, 1.05 crore LPG consumers across the country have voluntarily given up subsidy. While the opt-out scheme was voluntary to start with, last year the Central government decided to exclude those consumers who have a taxable income of at least Rs 10 lakh in the previous financial year from availing subsidy.
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According to Central government data, Mizoram and Nagaland top the list of states whose population have aggressively given up the subsidy. One out of every seven cooking gas consumers have opted out of the subsidy in Mizoram. In Nagaland, the ratio is 13.52 per cent.
“Implementation of PAHAL has resulted in identification of 3.34 crore and 3.56 crore ghost/fake/duplicate accounts during financial year 2014-15 and 2015-16, respectively. The total subsidy/under recovery on domestic Liquefied Petroleum Gas during the financial years 2014-15 and 2015-16 was Rs 40,569 crore and Rs 16,074 crore, respectively. Lower subsidy during last year is due to various factors, including introduction of direct transfer of subsidies into the accounts of consumers (PAHAL scheme) and fall in international crude oil prices,” said Pradhan.
Pradhan said under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY), the government has released 1.66 crore new LPG connections for below poverty line households across the country as on January 1, 2017 as against a set target of 1.5 crore new LPG connections for financial year 2016-17.