The NDA Government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is aiming for greater impetus to the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) and planning to expand the coverage of clean energy scheme PMUY to rural women.
Launched for women only, the scheme Ujjawala Yojna finds special mention by Prime Minister Modi during his ongoing U.S. tour where he said that the scheme has surpassed its target of providing LPG connection to 1.5 crore for Financial year 2016-17. Over 2.20 crore connections were given to BPL families in the first year of its launch as per the Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) 2011 data.
Since the LPG demand in the country has registered a growth rate of more than 10% primarily in rural areas, the government is aiming for greater impetus to the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY), to expand its coverage in the remaining period of the scheme till March 2019, the ministry sources said.
Ministry figures show more than 4,600 new distributors have been added in the last 3 years and 40 per cent of PMUY target had been met. And the government is aiming to ramp up the LPG coverage in the country to 95.49 per cent by 2018-19 from 72.8 per cent now through the three PSU oil marketing companies according to sources. Earlier, India had set an ambitious target of increasing LPG usage to cover 80% of the households by March 2019. More than twenty million LPG connections had been completed till April 2017.
Launched on May 1, 2016 at Ballia, Uttar Pradesh by PM Modi, the PMUY has actually succeeded in changing the lives of millions of women beneficiaries. “Mahilao ko mila Samman, Yahi hai Ujjwala ki Pehchan,” Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural gas, Dharmendra Pradhan said while talking about the PMUY, a flagship scheme of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas recently. Prime Minister Modi hailed the success of direct benefit transfer of gas subsidy, in reference to the flagship Ujjwala Yojana, while addressing to the Indian Diaspora in Virginia, U.S. “With the help of technology, direct benefit transfer debit schemes like the gas subsidy have proved successful,” the Prime Minister told the gathering in Virginia, U.S.. Hailing the success of the scheme, the Prime Minister said that in the coming three years, five crore poor families would be provided with gas connections.
Free LPG connections are being provided to women BPL households to replace the use of polluting fuels such as wood and dried cow dung or such unclean cooking fuels mostly used in the rural India with the clean and more efficient LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) under the ambitious social welfare scheme. Polluting fuels used for cooking purposes results in 1.3 million premature deaths in India every year, according to the World Health Organization reports. The government is providing a support of Rs 1,600 per connection, as a part of the Prime Minister’s Ujjwala Yojana, which is proving to be extremely popular among masses. “Oil Marketing Companies have given 3.25 crore new LPG connections across the country in the financial year 2016-17, the highest ever in any given year.
The total number of active LPG consumer has crossed 20 crores, taking a quantum jump from 14 crores in the year 2014,” according to Minister Dharmendra Pradhan. India’s LPG imports in the country have increased 23% during the financial year 2016-2017 to about 11 million tonnes due to the increase in the consumption of LPG in India, mostly due to the two government schemes coupled with free gas connections. Demand for fuel is all set to increase and will touch 35 million tonnes by 2031-32 in India, as per the estimates of the oil ministry.
Today, India has become world’s second largest LPG importer, a position that was previously occupied by Japan. India’s active LPG users have increased to about 200 million which is 60% more than Japan’s entire population. China remains as the world’s top importer, according to reports.
The PMUY has become popular among the rural women as it is being implemented in a participatory mode involving beneficiaries, elected representatives, distinguished personalities, local administration etc. with strong emphasis on safety and safe usage of LPG. The installations of LPG cylinders are done through a Mechanic at houses of all PMUY beneficiaries so that safe and correct usage of LPG can be explained to the beneficiaries. Safety Clinics/Camps are also being organized on a regular basis Pan-India for the beneficiaries to make them aware of the safe usage of LPG also, Pradhan added.
About 38% of the beneficiaries in PMUY are from SC/ST category and about 85% of the new consumers have come back for a refill.(ANI)
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