CAG report says discrepancies in Ujjwala scheme data; safety norms violated

A Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report on Wednesday said data analysis of the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) revealed a mismatch between the names of 1.25 million beneficiaries and the Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC-2011) data, based on which the beneficiaries were decided.


The report, tabled in Parliament, said a check in the field audit revealed that 784 (18 per cent of 4,348 KYCs verified) intended beneficiaries were used by liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) distributors to extend benefits to “unintended persons”. The auditor also hinted at possible diversion of cylinders.


“Risk of diversion of domestic cylinders for commercial use was noticed as 198,000 PMUY beneficiaries had an average annual consumption of more than 12 cylinders which seems improbable in view of their below-poverty-line status,” it said.


Similarly, 1.4 million beneficiaries consumed three to 41 refills in a month. Also, Indian oil corporation (IOCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation in 344,000 instances issued two to 20 refills in a day to a PMUY beneficiary having single bottle connection, it highlighted.


A violation of safety norms was reported during the test check of 18,558 KYC records as pre-installation inspection report was not available in 2,531 cases (13.64 per cent). Similarly, installation certificates were not available in 2,367 cases (12.75 per cent).


The report stated that at least 859,000 connections were released to beneficiaries who were minor, according to SECC-2011 data, which was in violation of PMUY guidelines and LPG Control Order, 2000. Further, IOCL software allowed the issue of 80,000 connections to beneficiaries aged below 18 years. It added the annual average refill consumption of 19.3 million PMUY consumers (who have completed more than one year as on March 31, 2018) was only 3.66 refills as worked out by the audit.


Similar analysis for 31.8 million PMUY beneficiaries as on December 31, 2018, revealed that refill consumption declined to 3.21 refills per annum.


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