The Union Oil Ministry has said that 2.5 crore women have already been benefited by Ujjwala scheme that provides liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) connections. The best thing about this programme is that they do not need to pay any charges upfront for that. Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana was introduced around 14 months back. As per a statement by the oil ministry, a function was held on July 15 at Jangipur, West Bengal, where President Pranab Mukherjee awarded the latest batch of LPG connections. Union Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan was present at the event as well.
The aim of this programme
Narendra Modi had launched the programme on May 1, 2016, at Balia in Uttar Pradesh. This programme aims to hand out 5 crore LPG connections to families belonging to below poverty line (BPL) by 2019. They will also be provided a support of INR 1600 for each connection. The government is also planning to provide 5 crore LPG connections to families that are above the poverty line. The government has decided to spend INR 8000 crore in order to carry out the project. This is part of a greater plan in order to better the usage of gas in India’s domestic economy.
Reaching a mark
The aforementioned event was held in order to commemorate reaching half of the target of handing out LPG cooking gas connections. Normally these women use polluting fuel such as dried cow dung and wood. As per data released by the World Health Organisation (WHO), usage of such fuel leads to around 1.3 million premature deaths in India on an annual basis. Ujjwala scheme aims to bring back such usage as well. Using and burning such fuel within or near one’s home increases one’s blood pressure and leads to death.
Reaction of Modi
Narendra Modi who conceived of the programme said that he was happy that the programme has hit the 50% mark. He was happy that the programme has successfully continued to increase its reach – in fact as per his tweet on the issue he was extremely delighted at how the programme has progressed in the last one year. He also thanked the incumbent President for handing over LPG connections to beneficiaries in his constituency. He has also congratulated Dharmendra Pradhan – apart from his team – for working around the clock so that Ujjwala Yojana could be successful.
It is expected that the national government would be announcing Ujjwala Plus. As per the new scheme, the coverage would be extended. It is said to be announced on Independence Day. It can very well be called the next step of Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana. The beneficiaries of Ujjwala are determined by the Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) 2011. The Union Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has also said that a number of other eligible families have been left out from SECC because of technical issues. Ujjwala Plus is supposed to include these families as well. In Ujjwala Plus, organizations and individuals will be allowed to make contributions as well.
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