While a large number of important policies, activities, decisions and initiatives were undertaken by the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas in last one year, what scored over every other initiative was empowerment of the rural women under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana program of the petroleum ministry where morethan 1.22 crore new LPG connections were released to BPL women.
As the year draws to a close, its time to check the promises versus delivery by the important economic ministries of the government.
PM Modi in his address on 27th March 2015 had made an appeal to well-to-do families to give up their subsidy on LPG connections so that the money thus saved can be utilized for giving connections to less privileged homes. Taking the appeal forward, MOP&NG launched the ‘Give It Up’ campaign and in little over an year’s time more than 1 crore people across the country from all walks of life, including those from middle class have come forward to support this initiative bringing smiles to a million homes.
Under Pradhan Mantri Ujjawala Yojana (PMUY), nearly 400 LPG connections were distributed to the women from BPL families from the Mirzapur village area by Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister of State (I/C), Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State (I/C) Ministry of Culture & Tourism, Bhola Singh, Member of Parliament, senior officials from MoPNG, Oil Industry and State Government were also present during the occassion.
Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana is being implemented with an objective to provide deposit free LPG connections to BPL households as a clean fuel solution. So far, more than 50 lakh connections have been released to the beneficiaries.
Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas under union minister Dharmendra Pradhan has decided to extend the benefits under Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana to the people of all Hilly States including North-East States by treating them as ‘Priority States’ and release LPG connections to the eligible beneficiaries.
Under the scheme, 5 crores LPG connections will be provided to BPL families with a support of Rs. 1600 per connection in the next 3 years. Identification of the BPL families is being done through Socio-Economic Caste Census data.
As many as 25.44 lakh LPG connections have been released to women of BPL families as on today under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana. The scheme which was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Balia, Uttar Pradesh on 01st May, 2016 is currently under operation in 553 districts of 24 States.
The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has refuted reports of any mis-calculation of subsidy savings on LPG and maintained that the total savings from the elimination of fake/duplicate/ghost connection as a result of implementation of DBT for the two last years is estimated at more than Rs. 21,000 crore.
To ensure smokeless kitchens across rural India, 14.13 lakh LPG connections have been released to women of BPL families under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY). The scheme is currently under operation in 487 districts of 17 states.
The Prime Minister will also visit his constituency, Varanasi. He will distribute e-rickshaws to beneficiaries. Modi will also launch a scheme for environment-friendly “E-Boats” at the famous Assi Ghat.