The Direct Benefits Transfer scheme under which subsidies are credited into the account of the beneficiary has identified a whopping 12.73 million duplicate connections that included fake consumers or illegally held multiple accounts across the country.
The scheme was launched by the erstwhile United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government and continued by the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA). India's subsidy programs have always been plagued by corruption and irregularities.
Centre is pushing to straighten up the whole structure and avoid wastage and leakages for better targeting to the end recipients of subsidies.
According to data released by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural gas, around one in 14 connections is a duplicate, or fake, which is nearly 7% of all connections across India.
Leading the pack of fake users among states is Uttar Pradesh with 1.87 million multiple connections, followed by Maharashtra at 1.35 million and Assam at 0.99 million.
India has 176 million registered liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) connections for domestic use with the largest spread in south Indian states and union territories: Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Puducherry and Lakshadweep.
Among the cooking gas providers, Indian Oil Corporation has the highest number (6.63 million) of fake connections. However, only 0.17 million connections have been Surrendered/cancelled till March 1st, 2015.
A possible reason for this could be the fact that since the NDA government re-launched the direct benefit scheme in 2014, the process of tracking and subsequent cancellation of duplicate connections would take time and effort.