Boon for the Millions
The Union government has resolved to look into the factors that were behind the finding that more than 90 lakh beneficiaries under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojna (PMUY), one of the best flagship programmes of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, have been unable to refill their LPG gas in the last financial year and only 1.08 crore have managed to refill it once.
In a reply to a Right to Information Act (RTI) from Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL), Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL), and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL).
It may be noted that the “Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Scheme” was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 1, 2016. The scheme distributed 50 million LPG connections to women below the poverty line.
One of the possible reasons could be the adverse impact of the Covid pandemic. But then, overall, the programme is a great success story in Modi’s governance of the country over the last eight years.
Latest available data says that the PMUY LPG coverage has improved to 104.1% in 2022 as compared to 62% in 2016.
Over 9 crore deposit-free LPG connections were distributed under PMUY in the last 6 years.
35.1% PMUY beneficiaries are from SC/ST categories Over 14 crore free LPG refills provided Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package
In fact, currently the PMUY scheme is undergoing the second phase of the implementation. It was first launched on May 01, 2016. Ujjwala 2.0 was launched on August 10, 2021.
The journey from Ujjwala 1.0 to Ujjwala 2.0
During Ujjwala 1.0 launched in 2016, a target was set to provide LPG connections to 5 crore women members of BPL households. Subsequently, the scheme was expanded in April 2018 to include women beneficiaries from seven more categories (SC/ST, PMAY, AAY, Most backward classes, tea garden, forest dwellers, Islands). Also, the target was revised to 8 Crore LPG connections. This target was achieved in August 2019, seven months ahead of the target date.
Aim: To safeguard the health of women and children by providing them with clean cooking fuel, so that they don’t have to compromise their health in smoky kitchens.
Scheme: Deposit-free LPG connection is given to the eligible household with financial assistance of Rs 1,600 per connection. Free of cost first LPG refill and gas stove is provided for the first time by public sector Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs).
Target: The initial target was to provide LPG connections to Five crore women members of BPL households. Subsequently, the scheme was expanded and the target was revised to Eight crore LPG connections.
To cover remaining households under PMUY, Ujjwala 2.0 was started on August 10, 2021 on pan India basis to provide additional one crore LPG connections.
As on January 31, 2022, the government has achieved the target of providing One crore LPG connections under Ujjwala 2.0. Based on a large number of applications, the Government has further extended the scheme with 60 lakh more connections under Ujjwala 2.0.
– The target to provide Eight crore deposit free LPG connections was achieved in September, 2019, seven months ahead of the scheduled date.
– The 8th crore PMUY connection was handed over by PM Narendra Modi on September 07, 2019.
– The target of releasing another One Crore LPG connections under Ujjwala 2.01 was achieved on January 31, 2022.
– LPG coverage in India has improved to 104.1% as on January 01, 2022, as compared to 62% as on May 01, 2016.
– Per capita consumption of PMUY beneficiaries has increased from 3.01 refills in 2019-20 to 3.66 refills in Financial Year 2021-22 (till Feb 2022).
– With the implementation of PMUY, approx. one lakh people have got employment through the LPG distribution system.
– As part of Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package, more than 14 crore free LPG refills were provided to the PMUY beneficiaries during COVID-19.
– Under the Give-It-Up initiative, more than One crore people themselves gave up the subsidy on LPG, which benefited the needy people.
– All LPG connections are released in the name of an adult woman of the poor family.
– 35.1 % PMUY beneficiaries are from SC/ST categories (as on December 01, 2021)
– Women in the states of Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan have been the biggest beneficiaries of PMUY.
– The International Energy Agency has said it is a “major achievement” in improving the environment and health of women.
– WHO report (2018) said that Ujjwala Yojana has provided 37 million women, living below the poverty line, with free LPG connections to support them to switch to clean household energy use.