Modi government’s New Year gift! 10 mn households to get free LPG connections under Ujjwala scheme
With the 2019 Lok Sabha elections approaching fast, the Bharatiya Janata Party-led NDA government is set to hand over 10 million free LPG connections under its ambitious Ujjwala scheme in next four months. Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister, Dharmendra Pradhan ṭold Hindustan Times that the Modi government aims to achieve 60 million LPG connections by the end of this month and plans to provide another 10 million free gas connections over the next four to five months.
The HT report quoted government officials saying that currently, about 1 million LPG connections are being added per month but to achieve this target, the rate will have to be increased to 2.5 million new connections per month. The scheme was launched by prime minister Narendra Modi in 2016, months ahead of the Uttar Pradesh elections with an aim to provide clean energy by providing LPG connections to poor households without having to pay a deposit.
To begin with, a sum of Rs 8,000 crore was allocated for the scheme by the government but an additional budget of Rs 4,800 crore was announced by finance minister Arun Jaitley in the last budget. The target was also increased to 8 crore households with the government aiming to achieve the revised target by 2020.
The ministry has also given an option to LPG holders to opt for a 5 kg cylinder instead of the 14.2 kg cylinders. Scheme beneficiaries can get a cylinder for Rs 500.90, while an unsubsidised cylinder in Delhi costs Rs 809.50.
Earlier this week, the Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) had said that about 5.14 lakh gas connections were released in Telangana by three oil PSUs (IOCL, BPCL and HPCL) as part of the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana. In a press release, IOCL said that the LPG coverage in the state has now reached about 110.5 per cent of the household population.
“This scheme (PMUY) will benefit enrolment in certain districts like Jangaon, Jayashankar Bhupalapalli, Komram Bheem Asifabad, Mahbubabad, Nagarkarnool, Peddapalli, Vikarabad, Wanaparthy and Warangal Rural where LPG coverage is around 80 per cent,” it said.
The Cabinet, on Monday, had extended the Ujjwala Yojana of providing cooking gas (LPG) connections to ‘all poor households’. The move is expected to benefit an additional 1 crore households under the scheme.