Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, launched on May 1, 2016, in Ballia, Uttar Pradesh, is an initiative by the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas aimed at empowering women from Below Poverty Line (BPL) households by providing them with LPG connections. Initially targeting to provide 8 Crore connections by March 2020, the scheme has been extended, with an additional provision for 1 Crore connections in the Union Budget for FY 21-22, catering especially to migrant families. Recently, an extension was announced for releasing 75 lakh more LPG connections over three years from Financial Year 2023-24 to 2025-26.
- Empowering women and protecting their health.
- Reducing the number of deaths in India due to unclean cooking fuel.
- Preventing young children from a significant number of acute respiratory illnesses caused due to indoor air pollution by burning fossil fuel.
- Each low-income household will receive Rs 1600 in financial assistance under the program.
- Beneficiaries of Ujjwala 2.0 will receive a deposit-free LPG connection.
- The scheme includes the provision of the first refill and a hotplate at no cost to eligible recipients.
Under the scheme, an adult woman belonging to any of the following categories, is an eligible beneficiary under the expanded scheme.
- SC Households
- ST Households
- Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Gramin)Most Backward Classes
- Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY)Tea and Ex- Tea Garden groups
- Forest DwellersPeople residing in Islands and River Islands
- SECC Households (AHL TIN)Poor Household as per 14-point declaration
- Applicant must have attained 18 years of age.
- There should not be any other LPG connections in the same household.
- Encouraging people to keep using LPG consistently is tough. One big issue is that not enough refills are being used, making it hard to pay back the loans given under the program.
- As of December 31, 2018, the average number of refills used per year was just 3.21, which is quite low.
- There are some problems with the system. For example, connections are sometimes given to people who weren’t supposed to get them. Also, the software used by the state oil companies isn’t always able to correctly identify who should be getting support.
- Extend the program to assist impoverished households residing in urban and semi-urban slum areas.
- Increase LPG accessibility among the population by connecting households currently lacking access to LPG.
- Input Aadhaar numbers of all adult family members, both existing and new beneficiaries, to enhance deduplication effectiveness.
- Implement suitable measures within distributors’ software to prevent issuance to ineligible beneficiaries.
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