Under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, Rs.8,000 crore has been earmarked for providing 50 million LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) connections to poor households.
- Each beneficiary will get financial support of Rs.1,600 for securing an LPG connection.
- Eligible households will be identified in consultation with state governments and Union territories.
- The scheme will be implemented over the next three years.
- The scheme is being implemented by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.
- The new users who receive LPG connections under the scheme will not have to pay the security deposit, while the Rs. 1,600 administrative costs, cost of pressure regulator booklet and safety hose will be borne by the government.
- The households will be selected using the socio-economic and caste census data. Consumers will have the option to purchase gas stove and refills on EMI.
- Because burning wood/coal is leading to rising pulmonary, cataract and heart diseases
- According to health experts, the smoke released in the burning process contains hazardous gases like carbon monoxide, particulate matter, etc. Unclean cooking fuels are the main source of indoor air pollution that causes non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer
- Generally, poor women are victims of these toxic gases. They have no alternative and thus they are forced to use them
What more need to be done?
- Tts cost should be made affordable as with current subsidy also a BPL family has to spent Rs.5000 per year in addition to one time cost of Rs.1800 for the connection
- Distribution system needs to be strengthened to ensure catering to people’s demand especially in remote areas otherwise people may switch back to solid fuels. Reliable, sustained last mile supply is needed.
- Effective monitoring and redressal mechanisms to ensure targeted delivery and effective implementation is needed.
Significance of scheme:
- It will increase usage of LPG thus reducing health disorders due to usage of conventional cooking fuels like wood, cow dung, etc.
- The benefit transfer through Jan Dhan will fulfill the objective of increased Financial Inclusion.
- It will reduce air pollution cause by smoke from solid fuel usage in kitchens and other places.
- Will ensure energy security to poor households.
- Will reduce burden on government exchequer due to health disorders.
- Selection of beneficiaries is using the socio-economic and caste census data which is a laborious task and would delay proper identification of beneficiaries.
- Burden on the exchequer, corruption, remoteness/delivery difficulties esp in LWE areas; LPG may be sold to rich for money draining the entire effort of government.
- No focus given towards awareness and administrative issues as 40 % of LPG deprived households cite lack of information on the process of getting a LPG connection.
- LPG demand is expected to see double digit growth over coming years hence leading to increase in imports and would cause stress on LPG resources.
- households have to regularly refill cylinders which can incur high monthly expenditure to them
- Lack of financial literacy and bank accounts for most of rural households
- About 40 per cent of LPG-deprived households in rural areas cite a lack of information about the process of getting a connection as a challenge