One of the widely acclaimed initiatives by the Narendra Modi government — Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) –, which provides poor families partially-free LPG gas connection, has beaten its target by eight months.
Launched in April 2016, the scheme aimed to provide 5 crore free gas connections by April 2019. However, the government will complete the target on Friday, eight months ahead of the target, TOI reported.
The Ujjwala Connection No. 5 crore is likely to be handed over to the beneficiary in the Parliament on Friday by Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, the newspaper reported.
Ujjwala Yojna was launched to provide clean cooking gas connection to 5 crore families identified Socio Economic Caste Census Data (SECC). In April 2018, the scheme was extended to various other sections of the population.
The scheme garnered acclaim from international agencies such as World Health Organisation (WHO) for enabling access to clean energy to about 3.7 crore women in the country, thus helping in the reduction in air pollution caused by the traditional cooking stove.
To support the scheme financially, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged citizens to give up their LPG subsidy, which also witnessed initial success. Latest data show that 4% of gas connection users in India responded to his appeal and gave up their subsidies.
In India, LPG gas cylinders are subsidised. All LPG consumers have to buy fuel at market price. However, the government subsidises 12 cylinders of 14.2 kilogram each per household in a year by directly transferring the subsidy amount to the users’ bank accounts. A subsidised gas cylinder costs Rs 498.02, while the subsidy being given by the government per cylinder is Rs 291.48.
Under the Ujjwala Yojana, the government is providing a support of Rs 1,600 per connection to beneficiaries in the next 3 years. Due to the Ujjwala Yojna, the LPG gas connection population coverage increased to 80% from 62% earlier, the latest government data showed. The average cylinder refill under the scheme has been 4.32 cylinders, compared with the national average of 7.5 cylinders, the Financial Express reported.