The Centre on Wednesday released a statement defending its figures from its LPG schemes, in response to a Comptroller and Auditor General report that had questioned the savings the government claimed to have from its LPG subsidy policy. According to the CAG report, savings from people voluntarily giving up their LPG subsidy amounted to less than Rs 2,000 crore, not Rs 22,000 as the Centre said, while the remaining came from a steep drop in the price of imported cooking gas.

As many as 3.34 crore "duplicate/fake/ghost/inactive" domestic LPG connections were identified through "intensive exercises" and blocked under the Direct Benefit Transfer scheme called PAHAL. "..It became possible to block these 3.34 crore LPG connections as the subsidy was transferred to the accounts of only those consumers who had registered under PAHAL and who have been cleared after de-duplication exercise," the statement from the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas said.

The ministry clarified CAG's calculations of savings from the 'GiveItUp' campaign and DBTL scheme with its own fiscal-wise numbers: "For the financial year 2014-15, for 3.34 crore consumers outside the PAHAL net, the estimated savings would be 3.34 crore x 12 cylinders x Rs 369.72 (average subsidy/cylinder for FY 2014-'15), which is equal to Rs 14,818.4 crore. Following a similar principle, the savings estimated for FY 2015-'16 is Rs 6,443 crore, and the total for both years works out to be Rs 21,261 crore."

The CAG audit had also found issues with the scheme to transfer subsidy directly to the bank accounts of beneficiaries. For example: It pointed out that subsidy meant for domestic consumption can be put to commercial use, and vice versa.