Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the massive Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) scheme to provide 5 crore LPG connections to Below Poverty Line (BPL) families in the next 3 financial years. The Yojna was launched at Ballia in Uttar Pradesh on Sunday.
Addressing the large gathering on the occasion, the Prime Minister said that the participation of such a large number of people in an official programme related to development only proves that the schemes are actually reaching out to the beneficiaries even at grass roots levels.
Talking about PMUY, he said that that the Government of India had initiated the ‘Give It Up’ scheme on 27 March 2015 as an appeal to the ‘better –off’ sections of the society to give up their subsidy on LPG cylinders which then may be used to provide LPG connections to the poor.
The Prime Minister said that over 5 crore BPL women would be provided LPG connections in the next three years, without having to pay any security deposit. The administrative cost of Rs. 1600 per connection, pressure regulator booklet and safety hose would be borne by the Government. The government aims at achieving the objective of providing relief to 5 crore women from the scourge of smoke aand disease by the time the country celebrates the 150th birthday of Mahatma Gandhi.He also underscored the fact that in the last 2 years, 3 crore households have been provided with LPG connections.
To cater to this increased demand for LPG, nearly 10,000 new distributorships and adequate infrastructure expansion plans are in the pipeline, which will lead to improved employment opportunities for the youth.
Dharmendra Pradhan, Petroleum Minister underlined the importance of PMUY for mothers and sisters belonging to impoverished background. The scheme will free 5 crore women from the ill-effects of smoke and disease.
He said that providing LPG connections to BPL households will ensure universal penetration 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.
Pradhan also said that 10,000 new LPG distributorships have been planned during the next 3 financial years to expand the coverage area. Further, one officer from the public sector Oil Marketing companies would be appointed as coordinator for each of the country’s 674 districts to augment the penetration of LPG in the country. The aim is to achieve the ambitious target of converting an additional 10 crore households (of which 5 crore would be BPL families) to LPG usage by the end of 2018.