Thanks to the government’s flagship programme Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY), where the government wants to make Indian rural kitchens smoke free by providing access to clean cooking fuel, the state-owned Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) have successfully released 3.25 crore new LPG connections during FY 2016-17, the highest ever number of LPG connections released in a financial year so far in the LPG history of the country.
The connections released includes 2 crore connections released under PMUY, which was launched on 1st May 2016 by Prime Minister and 1.25 crore connections to new consumers other than PMUY beneficiaries.
Under PMUY, women of BPL families especially residing in rural areas have been given LPG connections.
This increase in connections has resulted in a jump in the LPG coverage and as on 01.04.2017, the national LPG coverage is estimated to be 72.8% with 19.88 crore active consumers.
The government has mandated oil companies to add 10 crore new cooking gas customers between April 2016 and March 2019. Half of the new connections have to go to poor households under the government’s Ujjwala Yojana.
“When Modi ji took over as prime minister, the country had 14 crore active LPG consumers, which has today expanded to 19.80 crore. So, we have achieved 5.8 crore in less than three years,” oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan recently said.
“When we formed government, it used to be less than 1 crore new connections a year,” he said, adding that 3.16 crore connections had been given by March 24. This exceeds the 2016-17 target of 3 crore connections and is way ahead of 1.77 crore new customers added in 2015-16,” he added.