Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana is a scheme of the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas for providing LPG connections to women from Below Poverty Line (BPL) households.
Why this yojana was launched?
In India, the poor have limited access to cooking gas (LPG). The spread of LPG cylinders has been predominantly in the urban and semi-urban areas with the coverage mostly in middle class and affluent households. But there are serious health hazards associated with cooking based on fossil fuels. According to WHO estimates, about 5 lakh deaths in India occur alone due to unclean cooking fuels. Indoor air pollution is also responsible for a significant number of acute respiratory illnesses in young children. According to experts, having an open fire in the kitchen is like burning 400 cigarettes an hour.
Providing LPG connections to BPL households will ensure universal coverage of cooking gas in the country. This measure will empower women and protect their health. It will reduce drudgery and the time spent on cooking. It will also provide employment for rural youth in the supply chain of cooking gas.
Under the scheme,eight crore (earlier target was 5 crore) LPG connections are to be provided to BPL households. The identification of eligible BPL families will be made in consultation with the State Governments and the Union Territories.
BPL is a person/ household who suffers from at least one deprivation under the Socio-Economic Caste census (SECC) – 2011 Database.
While the selection of beneficiaries would be from the BPL families only, preference would be given to SC/ST and weaker sections of society. Release of LPG connection under this Scheme shall be in the name of the women belonging to the BPL family.
The Government has also decided to cover the following categories under the Scheme :-
1 . All SC/STs households beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana(PMAY) (Gramin)
2 . Antyoday Anna Yojana (AAY)
3 . Forest dwellers
4 . Most Backward Classes (MBC)
5 . Tea & Ex-Tea Garden Tribes
6 . People residing in Islands
7 . People residing in river islands.
Duration of the scheme
The Scheme would be implemented over three years, namely, the FY 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 across the country.
Benefits to the citizens
Under the scheme, five crore LPG connections are to be provided to BPL households. The Scheme provides a financial support of Rs 1600 for each LPG connection to the BPL households. The administrative cost of Rs. 1600 per connection, which includes a cylinder, pressure regulator, booklet, safety hose, etc. would be borne by the Government.